The consequences of the protracted economic and financial crisis in Jordan have exposed weaknesses in the seemingly robust national food security and social protection mechanisms and revealed limited capacities of the Government to invest in priority areas, including safety nets, livelihoods and self-reliance.
This situation has been further aggravated by the Syrian conflict which resulted in massive inflows of refugees into Jordan, placing additional pressure on national public services and triggering cuts in government subsidies and safety nets. An on-going economic crisis and the arrival of more than 500,000 Syrian refugees – equivalent to 10 percent of the population – have put Jordan’s safety net system under strain. The country is working to phase out costly blanket subsidies in favour of targeted interventions for the neediest. WFP has been requested to provide support to vulnerable Jordanians during this transition period, as a way of sharing the considerable burden the Government of Jordan is undertaking in meeting the ongoing needs of refugees as well as its own vulnerable population.
Working with the Government of Jordan and operationally present non-governmental organizations, WFP will deploy a flexible toolbox of both unconditional food and cash assistance, as well as food for assets and food for training programmes, focusing on the neediest populations. This support is intended to contribute to preventing further deterioration of food security.
In addition, many of the targeted population are living in communities that are hosting refugees. This assistance will enable the host communities to continue to support the refugees and contribute to social cohesion between the two groups. The socio-economic conditions in poor and food-insecure areas are not expected to improve in the short or medium term and could deteriorate with the prolongation of the crises. This situation is compounded by the serious natural resource and environmental challenges, as well as the unfolding political situation characterized by heightened domestic and regional political tensions In line with the Government’s strategies, policies and request for assistance, this protracted relief and recovery operation aims to address the short-term food needs of more than 160,000 targeted vulnerable and food-insecure beneficiaries and to protect their livelihoods.
During implementation, WFP will explore and design a more integrated and robust set of interventions to contribute to improving the resilience of households and communities to socio-economic and climate-related shocks. Unemployment is high, and socio-economic conditions are poor in Jordan, particularly in the food-insecure communities. To address this challenge, opportunities will be assessed to move from unconditional assistance to conditional, labour-based activities for those who can work in urban areas. A capacity development component will build on the on-going technical assistance provided to the Government, which includes support to enhancing national food security analysis, mapping, targeting and coordination
This project is fully in line with the Government’s strategies and policies, and brings WFP’s comparative advantages of knowledge of food assistance and targeting to assist the Government in meeting urgent needs as well as transitioning to longer term, sustainable approaches.
The project supports vulnerable populations in Jordan in order to mitigate the negative repercussions of the global economic crisis and contribute to stabilizing the socioeconomic conditions in the country. It is consistent with the poverty alleviation strategies of the Government, including the National Agenda (2006-2015). The operation is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2013-2017) and with WFP’s Strategic Objectives 1 and 3, with a strong focus on capacity augmentation. It will also support the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1 and 3. The preparation of this protracted relief and recovery operation included extensive consultations with government ministries and other national institutions, potential partners, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and donors.