Australia extends an additional contribution to UN Women to support vulnerable women in Jordan

Date: Monday, May 11, 2020

A woman enrolled on the cash-for-work tailoring programme assembles the hand-crafted baby-kits at the ‘Oasis Center for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls’ operated by UN Women in the Za’atarirefugee camp in Jordan.Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig

Amman, Jordan. The Government of Australia, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, extended an additional timely contribution to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in response to COVID-19, and to provide livelihood opportunities to vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian refugee women. Activities will engage more than 500 vulnerable women in UN Women’s Oases centers located in the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps, as well as in Oases located in community centers managed in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development in the Governorates of Zarqa, East Amman, Karak, Maan, and Tafileh.


The partnership will also focus on creating an enabling environment for women’s empowerment and civic engagement at the community level, by facilitating their access to key protection, education and enabling services, such as childcare facilities and transportation, thus benefitting also 1,800 children annually.


“We are pleased to be able to support and empower more women in Jordan through the expansion of our partnership with UN Women. The flexibility of our funding means it can be directed to those most in need, which is particularly important as Jordan deals with COVID-19” affirmed H.E. Miles Armitage, Australian Ambassador to Jordan.


This flexible financing instrument has been critical for UN Women to respond to the immediate needs of women during the COVID-19 pandemic, including equipping all its Oases centers with additional sanitization materials to protect the community from virus transmission. UN Women also worked closely with the Ministry of Social Development to distribute direct cash assistance to more than 400 vulnerable Jordanian women and Syrian refugees across the Kingdom through its Oasis centers, while ensuring seamless and remote access to cash entitlements by Syrian refugees in camps through its innovative blockchain system in partnership with WFP.


“Jordan has taken important steps to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Putting women’s empowerment at the centre of its efforts will help ensure the country recovers more effectively” said Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative. “UN Women welcomes this renewed partnership with the Government of Australia, which enabled us to rapidly deploy life-sustaining services and information to women in need, especially in rural areas”.


Since 2017, more than 50,000 Syrian refugee and vulnerable Jordanian women benefitted from resilience and empowerment services offered by UN Women through the generous support of the Government of Australia. Within this framework, UN Women also partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to increase the number of Syrian women benefiting from the economic opportunities provided through WFP's school feeding programme in the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps.


As of 2019, UN Women is partnering with WFP and IrisGuard to distribute cash entitlements in refugee camps through a blockchain technology system, which allows women to choose to save their money, receive cash-back, or purchase food and essential supplies.


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