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‘Canadian grant to assist municipalities hit hardest by refugee crisis’

Canada governor meets several ministers in Jerash, visits Zaatari camp

By Muath Freij , Petra - Oct 30,2016 - Last updated at Oct 30,2016

Petra photo Canada's Governor General David Johnston interacts with a Syrian refugee at the Zaatari camp on Sunday (Photo by Muath Freij)

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP/AMMAN — Canada is providing a grant worth C$26 million (around JD13.75 million) to help the most affected municipalities by the Syrian refugee crisis, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported Sunday.

Canadian Ambassador to Jordan Peter MacDougall announced the grant during a visit by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston to Jerash, 48km north of Amman, where he met with the ministers of water, interior and municipal affairs, 

Some C$19.6 million will be directed to assisting the municipalities and building training centres and stations to treat solid waste, while C$6.6 million will be allocated for creating job opportunities and empowering women, according to Petra.

The mayors of Sahab and Jerash also attended the meeting.

Also on Sunday, the second day of his first official visit to the Kingdom, Johnston met Syrian refugees at Zaatari camp.

Upon his arrival to Zaatari, the governor was briefed by the officials on conditions at Zaatari, which hosts 79,901 refugees, before touring the sprawling camp, some 90km northeast of Amman. 

He visited a computer room and a football pitch, where he watched children play before joining in for a short game. He also watched a wrestling match at a gym in the camp.

Johnston is scheduled to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah during his visit to discuss ways to enhance Jordanian-Canadian cooperation, in addition to the latest regional and international developments, according to a Royal Court statement.

Meanwhile, Sharon Johnston visited a project implemented by CARE International, with Canadian funding, to support impoverished communities, Petra reported.

Through the project, which continues until 2017, a Jordanian woman in Wadi Haddada in Amman received a loan to expand a grocery store.

Um Abdullah, a widowed mother of five, has been able to increase her revenues through the expansion, according to Petra.

The programme assesses the needs of underprivileged Jordanians and offers emergency financial aid, in addition to vocational training and loans, Petra reported.

Women also receive training to manage income generating projects.

On Saturday, Johnston and his wife visited Mount Nebo in Madaba, 30km southwest of Amman, where they toured different sites, including the Memorial Church of Moses.


The governor general expressed his admiration of the historical site, which is one of five religious locations the Vatican has accredited for Christian pilgrimage.

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