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Italy, FAO partner to increase resilience of vulnerable communities in Jordan

By JT - Nov 29,2021 - Last updated at Nov 29,2021

Italy’s Ambassador to Jordan Fabio Cassese and FAO Representative in Jordan Nabil Assaf sign an agreement during a ceremony attended by the head of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Amman, Emilio Cabasino, on Sunday (Photo courtesy of FAO)

AMMAN — Italy’s Ambassador to Jordan Fabio Cassese and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Representative in Jordan Nabil Assaf on Sunday signed a 1-million-euro agreement to increase the resilience of Jordan’s vulnerable communities.

The agreement, implemented through the Italy-funded “Sustainable Production and Utilisation of Agro-natural Resources (SPUAR)” project, was signed during a ceremony attended by the head of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Amman, Emilio Cabasino, according to a FAO statement.

The initiative targets vulnerable communities and their access to socio-economic support in the governorate of Maan, which is the largest in Jordan, and according to the poverty report issued by the Jordanian Department of Statistics is one of the poorest governorates in the country, with a poverty ratio of 27 per cent.

“In recognition of the importance to support the agriculture sector and sustainable management of natural resources in a country like Jordan challenged by desertification, drought and land degradation, Italy’s partnership with FAO focuses on actions to counteract the detrimental impact of resource scarcity upon human development and poverty,” Cassese said.

The scarcity of water resources is indeed one of the main challenges for Jordan and a limiting factor for economic development, especially for the agriculture sector, read the statement

The demand for water resources is increasing with time for both agricultural and non-agricultural purposes, as the agriculture sector consumes around 510 million cubic metres (51 per cent) of the annual available freshwater.

“In response to the current water scarcity status in Jordan, this project will be implemented in Southern Jordan targeting the most vulnerable households in the Maan Governorate with an enabling environment for women’s enhanced participation, by establishing non-conventional water resources from collecting rain water for the benefit of agriculture and the enhancement of the well-being of the targeted beneficiaries,” Assaf said.

The initiative aims to establish a sustainable enterprise using the agro-natural resources (land, water, vegetation) available in the targeted governorate.

“Within the two-year project, we aim to target a total of 120 households [660 persons], including female headed households, youth and people with disabilities, with actions that include rooftop water harvesting systemsand provision of food processing equipment, as well as a capacity building programme to equip beneficiaries with the necessary skills to maximise the use of agro-natural resources and enhance their livelihood,” Cabasino said.

In addition to improved food security and income-generation opportunities, the project will help achieve soil and water conservation through their sustainable management, and will ultimately contribute to empowering local rural communities, concluded the statement.

 

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