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Italy, FAO launch project to increase resilience of vulnerable communities in Southern Jordan

By JT - May 11,2022 - Last updated at May 11,2022

FAO Representative Nabil Assaf speaks during the launch of a project to increase the resilience of the Jordanian vulnerable communities on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of FAO)

AMMAN — The Government of Italy and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, on Tuesday launched a project to increase the resilience of the Jordanian vulnerable communities.

The project is carried out through the “Sustainable Production and Utilisation of Agro-natural Resources (SPUAR)” initiative, funded by Italy through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), according to a FAO statement.

In line with the agreement signed by the parties, FAO conducted an inception workshop to acquaint stakeholders and programme partners with the scope and outlines of the project, in addition to covering the implementation strategy and work plan.

Italy’s Ambassador to Jordan Luciano Pezzotti  said: “Italy and FAO are joining efforts to counteract the impact of land degradation, drought and desertification in Jordan, through sustainable natural resource management. Land degradation poses a serious challenge to sustainable development, and identifying critical knowledge gaps, opportunities of land productivity and strategies to increase land users’ perception of sustainability is pivotal to foster economic, social, and environmental changes.”

The scarcity of water resources is one of the main challenges for Jordan and a limiting factor for economic development, especially for the agriculture sector.  The demand on water resources is increasing with time for both agriculture and non-agricultural purposes, as the agricultural sector consumes around 510 million cubic metres (51%) of the annual available fresh water, the statement said.

This project comes in recognition of the importance to support the agriculture sector and sustainable management of natural resources. It targets vulnerable communities and their access to socio-economic infrastructures in the southern governorate of Maan, which is the largest in Jordan and, according to the poverty report issued by the Jordanian Department of Statistics, one of the poorest, with a poverty ratio of 27 per cent, the statement said.

Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat said: “The challenges facing food security in the Kingdom, the most important of which are conflicts in the region, put pressure on Jordan’s natural resources, in addition to climate change, where the rainfall percentage in the southern regions did not exceed 25 per cent last year, and this year it did not exceed 33%, and we, in Jordan count on our friends to strengthen the resilience of Jordanians  as this project will positively impact Maan responding to its needs.”

FAO Representative Nabil Assaf said: “This project is aligned with FAO and the Government of Jordan’s Country Programing Framework (CPF)’s priority 2: Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management and priority 3: Resilience of rural and peri-urban livelihood. Hence, under this programme, FAO will improve irrigation water use efficiency and productivity, strengthen the capacities of stakeholders in adopting the upscaling, and improve community- based natural resource management technologies and practices, including the supply of relevant climate smart technological inputs that enhance agricultural productivity and competitiveness of crops and livestock production. In the process, FAO will focus on crosscutting issues such as gender and climate change.”

 

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