Three United Nations agencies, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), are partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan to launch a project that is funded by the European Union (EU), to enhance resilient livelihoods and food security for more than 260,000 Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
The project was launched today by H.E. Dr. Saleh Kharabsheh, Minister of Environment and Acting Minister of Agriculture, and EU Ambassador to Jordan H.E. Maria Hadjitheodosiou. The three-year project, with a budget of EUR22 million from the EU, through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (the EU Madad Fund) will also be implemented in Lebanon, where half of the budget is allocated, and will tackle the impact of the Syrian crisis in both countries through support to the agriculture sector.
It will provide financial assistance to farmers while building their capacity, focus on rehabilitating agriculture extension centres, and creating synergy with the existing educational and capacity building programmes of the Ministry of Agriculture, thus seeking to enhance food security for host communities and refugees. Additionally, the project is of particular importance to support COVID-19 green recovery actions.
“The EU is keen to see the results of this support, as it touches on livelihoods and working conditions of a very important component of the society, the farming community, and a main development sector in Jordan that is Agriculture” underlined the EU Ambassador Ms Maria Hadjitheodosiou. “The project is set to enhance agriculture opportunities, awareness and education, efficient use of available resources within a circular economy set-up, rehabilitate forests and rangeland in Jordan, which will collectively lead to job creation and re-enforcement of this important economic sector in Jordan, both for Jordanians as well as Syrian refugees. The EU hopes that this program will support the agriculture sector at a time most needed, both in terms of food security as well as job creation.”
For his part, Nabil Assaf, FAO Representative in Jordan, said, “with an adapted approach in Jordan and Lebanon and under the leadership of FAO, the three organisations will work on improving the livelihood and food security levels in both countries through the creation of an adequate agriculture production support system for vulnerable smallholder farmers that support good agriculture practices (GAP) and timely response to shocks.”
“The Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture has been a strategic partner for WFP since 1964. WFP is therefore very pleased to be part of this initiative by the Three UN Rome-based agencies to work with the Ministry to improve the food security of the most vulnerable Jordanians and refugees through agricultural activities that incorporate innovative solutions and methods”, said WFP’s Deputy Country Director in Jordan, Jonathan Campbell.
The project supports vulnerable smallholders and small family-based agri-food enterprises in increasing the productivity and financial feasibility of their activities, in addition to creating job opportunities for both host communities and displaced Syrians. It will create agriculture production support systems for vulnerable smallholders to help them understand the different options that allow them to adopt good agricultural practices and timely response to shocks.
“IFAD is currently managing a portfolio of loans and grants, addressing agricultural resources management, rural economic growth and employment, small-ruminants investment, irrigation technology, as well as supporting refugees and host communities in rural areas”, said Mohamed Abdelqadir, IFAD Country Director.
In addition to supporting smallholders, activities also focus on the management of natural resources, including preservation and protection of forests and rangelands, and agriculture-related water and environmental management issues.
This joint project is part of the FAO Regional Resilience and Nutrition Initiative, and will contribute to enhancing the coordination and diffusion of lessons learned to improve the efficiency of resilience and agriculture livelihood initiatives implemented in the region.
About the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund:
Since its establishment in December 2014, a significant share of the EU’s non-humanitarian aid for Syria’s neighbouring countries is provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU ‘Madad’ Fund. The Trust Fund brings a more coherent and integrated EU aid response to the crisis and primarily addresses economic, educational, protection, social, and health needs of refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, and supports overstretched local communities and their administrations.
For more information about the EU Trust Fund, please visit https://ec.europa.eu/trustfund-syria-region/content/home_en