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Round-up of ESC 2021 report’s recommendations for key public sectors

ESC
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Economic and Social Council of Jordan (ESC) 2021 state of the country report, released on Sunday, has tackled challenges facing a number of vital governmental sectors. Here is a review of some of the most important remarks and observations made in the report.اضافة اعلان

Education

The report stated that loss of education time/resources in public schools has reached 30 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the report cited the fact that in 2021 Jordan saw 70,000 university students graduating in different majors. Meanwhile the national economy’s competitiveness in global indicators continue to decline.

Budget and debt

According to the report, Jordan continues to face endemic budget deficits which stands as an impediment for growth as well as increased indebtedness, which constitute the greatest challenge to fiscal policy while limiting the government’s ability to cope with the issues of poverty and unemployment. These challenges stand in the way of achieving significant economic growth.

Water

Regarding water scarcity, the report indicated that the development of Jordan’s surface and underground water sources is no longer a solution, as these have been developed to a maximum extent. It added that the traditional policy of developing renewable water sources has been exhausted.

The report explained that Jordan’s surface water annual capacity is estimated at 400 million cubic meters, while renewable underground water is estimated at 275 million cubic meters annually. Therefore, available water resources are insufficient, particularly with Jordan hosting millions of refugees.

The report suggested that the final solution for water scarcity in Jordan would be to desalinate the Red Sea water in Aqaba.

Health

The report said that the health sector in Jordan has been successful in combating infectious and chronic diseases resulting in declining mortality rates. But it added that sector still suffers from many issues and challenges prior to and during the coronavirus pandemic.

The report highlighted the most prominent issues of the sector such as weak governance and management, multiple government agencies’ that manage and provide health services, lack of coordination or weakness between them.

The report recommended the reorganization of the sector to enhance its readiness to proactively deal with national health crisis through following the proactive model (planning and preparedness) rather than the reflexive model (real-time reaction).

Culture

The report said that the Ministry of Culture’s role is almost absent from the national agenda and does not represent an asset that enhances the moral capital of the individual and society. The report pointed to the need to support and develop productive cultural projects, establish a Supreme Council for Culture, expand and develop available cultural databases, activate the cultural support fund and come up with solutions to maximize and sustain its resources.

It also called for providing the infrastructure for small theaters, national publishing houses, cultural centers, supporting cultural products such as books, magazines, and cinematography, and facilitating public access to cultural products in marginalized and remote areas.


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