The President of Italy, Mr. Sergio Mattarella, visits the UN Women Oasis center in the Za’atari refugee camp

Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The President of Italy, Mr. Sergio Mattarella and his daughter, Ms. Laura Mattarella, accompanied by Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative, visit the UN Women’s Oasis Center in the Za’atari refugee camp and meet with Syrian refugee women engaged in the Center’s activities. Photo credits: UN Women/Lauren Rooney

Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan, 9 April 2019. On the first day of his official visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the President of Italy, Mr. Sergio Mattarella, visited the ‘Oasis Center for the resilience and empowerment of women and girls’ operated by UN Women in the Za’atari refugee camp. Accompanied by his daughter Ms. Laura Mattarella, in her capacity as First Lady, and H.E. Mr. Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Mr. Mattarella gained firsthand insight into the persistent challenges faced by vulnerable Syrian refugee women and the empowerment opportunities provided by UN Women through its ‘Oasis model’.

“With my presence here today, I would like to express our appreciation for this initiative, which is fundamental to support Syrian refugees as well as, more in general, to address the needs of vulnerable women” affirmed President Matteralla during his visit.

During his visit in the Center, President Mattarella met with Syrian refugee women enrolled in UN Women’s incentive-based volunteering scheme, who led the tour in the center by explaining activities conducted in the Oasis as well as the impact of such interventions in their lives. This includes the possibility of learning skills which can be utilized to access job permits outside the camp, as well as the presence of childcare facilities to provide a safe space for their children during working hours.   

Since 2015, the partnership with the Government of Italy – through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation – has been instrumental to empower vulnerable women in both refugee camp settings as well as Jordanian host communities, while also engaging men and boys in dialogue and mobilization for social equality. As a result, around 20,000 Syrian refugees benefitted from livelihood opportunities, protection services, education and civic engagement initiatives in 2018. The generous support of the Government of Italy has also contributed to the expansion of the ‘Oasis model’ into Jordanian host communities. Through the partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, in 2019 UN Women started to operate in eight community centers in five governorates of Jordan, providing livelihood opportunities and skills building to 212 vulnerable women, including in non-traditional working sectors.