Dubbed as an oasis of stability in a conflict-ridden region, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been a safe haven for people escaping war and persecution in their native countries – including Circassians, Chechens and Armenians – ever since the 19th century. More recently, successive waves of refugees from Palestine, Iraq,Yemen, Libya and Syria have sought shelter in the country, putting a strain on its infrastructure and public services.
Despite its status as a lower middle-income country – ranking 86 out of 188 in the Human Development Index – Jordan maintains pockets of food insecurity, especially in communities that have been hit by the protracted economic crisis of 2008 and are now hosting refugees. At the moment, it is home to nearly 660,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees.
Jordan is one of the world’s four most water-deficit countries. Due to scarce water supplies, recurrent drought, urbanization and desertification, agricultural production is insufficient, making Jordan a net importer of food.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been a strategic and operational partner of the Government of Jordan since 1964 in creating economic and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable and food insecure Jordanians and, most recently, supporting the national management of the refugee crisis and its implications on Jordan.
WFP also supports government efforts to invest in the next generation through school meals programmes that encourage school enrolment and retention and promotes activities to enhance the economy, agriculture and national development of Jordan, creating more jobs for vulnerable Jordanians and allowing Syrian refugees the opportunity to be self-sufficient.
WFP’s operations are innovative, rely on new technologies and contribute to the national economy. Jordan was the first country in the world where WFP used the innovative Blockchain technology to support its cash transfers for Syrian refugees. The technology harnesses the power of an open-source Blockchain technology to create and manage beneficiary accounts, complete assistance reloads, and authorize transactions.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Jordan
School mealsWFP works closely with the Government in support of the National School Feeding Programme, which targets over 350,000 Jordanian school children aged 5 to 12 years in poverty pockets. WFP also supports the school attendance of 30,000 refugee children in camps through the provision of school meals and seeks to improve the nutritional status of girls and boys through nutrition education initiatives.
Assistance for Syrian refugeesWFP responds to the basic food requirements of the 500,000 most food insecure Syrian refugees by providing them with food-restricted vouchers as well as cash to maintain their food security. Based on the results of a pilot project, in three governorates WFP cards can be used to withdraw cash, redeem assistance at WFP-contracted shops, or both. WFP is looking into expanding this ‘choice’ modality to other governorates in 2018.
Asset creation and livelihood supportfor assets (FFA) activities, such as rangeland rehabilitation, and food assistance for training (FFT), offering vocational training opportunities and on-the-job training to develop human capital and improve employability for targeted Jordanians and Syrians. All participants under both the FFA and FFT activities receive cash assistance valued at US$ 14.1 per household for each day of attendance.
Block chainSince May 2017, WFP Jordan has been running the world’s largest humanitarian implementation of BlockChain technology through its 'Building Blocks' project. As of January 2018, Building Blocks was scaled to serve 100,000 Syrian refugees with the aim of reaching 500,0000 beneficiaries by the end of the year
Partners and donorsAchieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Jordan is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:
Al-Jubaiha, Rasheed District, 79 Al-Wefaq Street, P.O.Box: 930727, Amman 11193, Jordan.
Phone: +962 6 5156493
Fax: +962 65155491