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The EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the 'Madad' Trust Fund, has made an important step towards the “No Lost Generation” initiative by committing EUR 11 million to the programme 'Vocational Education and Training & Higher Program for Vulnerable Syrian Youth' which also aims to support underprivileged Jordanians.
In support of this programme, the European Union (EU) has signed today a contract with the German Jordanian University (GJU), represented by its President Prof. Natheer Abu Obied and in presence of EU Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana. The programme will provide scholarship opportunities to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian students from host communities in Jordan for higher education and vocational studies, with the objective to offer higher educational programmes in cooperation with Jordanian higher educational institutions.
Ambassador Fontana said 'The EU is delivering on its promises to Jordan in the light of the 'No Lost Generation' initiative by providing higher education and vocational training to thousands of underprivileged Jordanians and Syrian refugees.'
Professor Abu Obied said 'This project is another one in a roadmap for GJU involvement in supporting humanity in a time of crisis. It also represents its willingness to collaborate with both international and Jordanian institutions. I thank both the EU for its generous support and the Jordanian partners for their collaboration with GJU to make this successful.’’
GJU is given the opportunity to lead this program by establishing a public-private partnership (PPP) represented by Jordan University of Science and Technology, Zarqa University and Al Quds College. The partnership provides vocational (Associate Degree-HND level 5), bachelor and master degrees on a wide variety of subjects to 300 underprivileged Jordanian and 700 Syrian students. The GJU – EU partnership is a unique model in Jordan where the awarded EUR 11 million is the largest fund ever granted to a Jordanian institution from the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the 'Madad' Trust Fund.
The 'Vocational Education and Training & Higher Program for vulnerable Syrian youth’ is a subsequent success after the prosperous launch and implementation of an earlier grant of EUR 4 million, launched in December 2015, which provided 390 higher education scholarship mainly for students whose undergraduate education was interrupted by the Syrian conflict as well as vulnerable Jordanians.
Access to higher education in emergencies and in post-conflict reconstruction is crucial as it helps re-instate a sense of stability, confidence and most importantly it provides hope and perspectives. Since the start of the conflict in Syria, education and higher education have been and will remain key sectors for assistance from the EU, which is reflected in the new EU Partnership Priorities with Lebanon and Jordan, and with the associated Compacts.
Today the 'Madad' Trust Fund is one of the key financial instruments that support the implementation of the new EU ‘Compact’ with Jordan. With contributions and pledges from 22 Member States, amounting to €92.60 million, and from various EU instruments, the 'Madad' Trust Fund has reached a total volume of close to €1 billion to date. Projects focusing on education, livelihoods and health have already been approved, covering a total of €767 million. €388 million have been contracted to the Trust Fund’s implementing partners on the ground and €49.3 million have been allocated for higher education in the region.