100 years of friendship

(Photo: UK in Jordan/Facebook)
Since becoming Her Majesty’s ambassador in July 2020, I have been constantly impressed by the strength and generosity of the Jordanian people.

Against the odds of Covid-19, the impact of regional conflicts and water scarcity, Jordanians continue to strive for peace and prosperity – including hosting the largest number of refugees in the region. اضافة اعلان

This special centenary year for Jordan also marks 100 years of a close friendship between our two nations, highlighted most recently in the Royal Visit to Jordan by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in November. Together we work to build a more resilient Jordan that can provide its people with security and stability, including both economic and political. 

Jordan’s incredible efforts to support its refugees and ensure they have access to education, economic opportunities and, most recently, COVID-19 vaccinations, is something that serves as an example to the rest of the world.

The partnership between Jordan and the UK has never been more evident than in the way we have worked together to protect vulnerable people from the worst of the pandemic. I am immensely proud that the UK is supporting Jordan with £34m to help Jordanians, particularly those who have lost their incomes due to the pandemic, survive and rebuild their livelihoods. 

 Our partnership with the National Aid Fund (NAF) began in 2018 when we provided technical assistance to help create stronger systems for the management of information and grievances. This has allowed NAF to identify the most vulnerable people needing assistance and provide them with secure, digital payments. In 2020, the UK provided £25m to the NAF which supported 293,000 Jordanian households with cash assistance payments throughout 2021. I am delighted that, this year, the UK has been able to extend our support to NAF with a further £9m for the Takaful 3 program. Takaful 3 provides cash assistance to 160,000 households whose livelihoods continue to be impacted by COVID-19. 

 Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to learning loss, more children dropping out of schools and increased stress on the public education system. I am therefore pleased that, in November, the second phase of the “Accelerating Access to Education Initiative” was officially launched with the UK contributing a further £9 million to the education sector, leading to a total of £54m of donor support to date. This support will deliver education to 185,000 Syrian and other refugee children, including for the first time, support to 1,500 refugee children with disabilities to access quality education.

Vulnerability to climate change remains a real risk for Jordan. The world came together to take action on climate change in Glasgow in November under the UK’s presidency of the UN Framework for Climate Change Cooperation Conference of Parties (COP 26).  Following this, we will continue to work with the government to ensure that those most vulnerable to climate change are protected and given the skills they need to adapt as Jordan’s climate changes.  

 As I look back on this historic centenary year, it is clear that the partnership between Jordan and the UK remains strong and focused on shared goals. We are committed to policies and funding which will support Jordan’s future stability and prosperity. In addition to our traditionally strong defense and security relationship, this includes creating a sustainable social assistance framework in the long term to protect vulnerable households, supporting a truly inclusive education system where all children can achieve high learning outcomes and ensuring refugees in Jordan are kept safe and given opportunities to thrive.  

Jordan is one of the UK’s most trusted, long-standing and reliable allies and our work together on social protection, education and tackling climate change will continue to be core elements of our partnership. 

The writer is British ambassador to Jordan.

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