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Gov’t puts in place 8-point plan to address unemployment

By JT - Jul 04,2016 - Last updated at Jul 04,2016

A Syrian refugee is seen laying foundations for a tent in a refugee camp. Jordan has pledged to create jobs for both Jordanians and Syrians under a plan agreed with donors (Photo courtesy of ILO)

AMMAN – The Cabinet on Sunday discussed eight measures in place to address unemployment as a top priority challenge, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The measures are part of the executive programme the government has presented to His Majesty King Abdullah in June.

The procedures include allocating JD25 million for the Development and Employment Fund to extend easy loans to youth for self-employing entrepreneurial projects, especially in underprivileged regions.

Another step that has already been taken is a decision to halt allowing guest workers in all kinds of jobs and to form a committee headed by the Labour Ministry’s secretary general and the concerned authorities to regulate the labour market and address imbalance especially in the agricultural sector.

The government has also allocated JD20 million to be disbursed as loans and advances to social security pensioners and their widows at low interests.

Funds are encouraged to help in alleviating employment and to coordinate the effort jointly, while companies bidding for government tenders will be granted more points depending on the size of the local labour they employ, Petra said. 

The government has offered incentives for construction and engineering consultation companies that open offices in governorates.

Meanwhile, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) will only hire Jordanians.

The plan also entails enhancing the role of the Cooperative Organisation to better manage and advance cooperatives across the Kingdom.

The Cabinet also reviewed progress in Jordan Compact, the documents outlining pledges made by donors at the London conference in February to help Jordan overcome the crisis resulting from the Syrian refugee influx ,and Jordan’s plans to improve the situation of refugees. 

A key plan made by Jordan is to designate development and industrial zone to create jobs for both Jordanians and Syrians, according to the document. 

Jordan is scheduled to sign an agreement with EU related to simplifying the rules of origin for the Jordanian exports on July 19. The agreement will result in increasing the development zones from which products will be exported to Europe, and help distributing the benefits of the Jordan Compact to all governorates.

The government checked on progress in rehabilitating the Desert Highway that connects Amman and Aqaba, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Cabinet approved the protocol between the  Ministry of Water and Irrigation and UNICEF, under which the UNICEF grants the ministry JD8 million to improve its services in water supply. 

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