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Jordan has set an example of sound management of refugee crisis — Fakhoury

Jordan, EU agree to hold ‘Brussels Conference 2’ in April next year

By JT - Sep 24,2017 - Last updated at Sep 25,2017

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury presides over a workshop for stakeholders involved in Jordan Response Plan to the Syrian refugee crisis at the Dead Sea on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury on Sunday called on the UN and other organisations to report their refugee-related projects to the Jordan Response Information System for the Syria Crisis (JORISS).

The remark came during his participation in a workshop organised by his ministry for the 12 sector groups of the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to the Syrian crisis at the Dead Sea, according to a ministry statement.

The workshop aims to enhance cooperation among the groups, identify each group's goals and prepare projects' summaries to update JRP for 2018-2020.

During the gathering, Fakhoury said that Jordan has become a role model in dealing with the refugee crisis through employing expertise and identifying the priority projects to support the refugees and the host communities.

The JRP groups include representative of ministries, donor countries, UN and non-governmental organisations.

The three-day workshop will include drafting JRP projects related to the needs of refugees and host communities.

Fakhoury stressed the government’s keenness on cooperation with the international community to set the priorities in dealing with the Syrian crisis and mitigating its effects on Jordan.

He noted that Crown Prince Hussein’s speech at the UN General Assembly has clearly summarised such an impact.

Fakhoury said that Jordan hosts 13 per cent of the total registered refugees in the world, which puts it at the top of the world’s list of host countries. The refugee community constitutes more than 29 per cent of the Kingdom’s population, which, he said, is the highest ratio worldwide.

The direct financial impact of the crisis is estimated at around $2 billion annually, which is equivalent to 20 per cent of the total annual national revenue and 5 per cent of the GDP, according to the minister.

Fakhoury noted that the Jordanian delegation to the UN General Assembly has attended several related meetings, including one with the EU to follow up on Brussels Donor Conference on Syria this year.

Fakhoury said that the Jordan and the EU have agreed on holding “Brussels Conference 2” in April 2018 to ensure the continuity of support to host countries.

He noted that Jordan has adopted a resilience-supporting approach instead of dealing with the situation only as a crisis, as it affects all aspects of life.

He reiterated a call on the international community to honour its commitments to supporting the host countries in addressing the refugee crisis.

Fakhoury said that JORISS was created to institutionalise action in a professional and transparent manner, with this including the tracking of funding and reporting project progress reports.

He pointed to a report by the Human Rights Watch, which indicates that the Planning Ministry is the only party among host countries that publishes updates on aid related to the Syrian crisis.    

Despite the improvement in the fund levels, Fakhoury said that there is still a financing gap that reached 38 per cent during 2016 compared to 30 per cent in the previous years.

The planning minister stressed the importance of distributing burdens justly among countries in light of the fact that Jordan is handling a large share of the mission, with indirect effects of the crisis estimated by the UNDP at $3.5 billion annually.

For his part, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan Anders Pedersen commended Jordan’s model in dealing with the crisis through connecting the humanitarian needs of the refugees to empowering the host communities.

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