Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

GIZ has been working in Jordan for over 40 years, and has had an office in the capital of Amman since 1979. In all there are around 77 national personnel and 35 international staff working on various programmes in Jordan.

The civil war in Syria and the political instability of the region are having a direct impact on Jordan, where several hundred thousand people have sought refuge since the start of armed conflict in the neighbouring country. Some 630,000 Syrian refugees have been officially registered up to March 2016, and the flow is expected to continue. However, rather than living in refugee camps, four out of five Syrians have found accommodation in cities and municipalities. The need to provide for so many additional people is exacerbating existing local problems – for example, concerning health services, the labour market and education, as well as resource conservation and waste management. Many municipalities are overwhelmed by the current challenges.

GIZ is supporting Jordan in creating long-term prospects for both Jordanians and Syrian refugees by assisting the host municipalities where many of the refugees are living, and thus contributing to the stability of the country.

The development problems Jordan faces as a desert nation are rooted primarily in the lack of natural resources. Water is in short supply and the large number of refugees is further increasing pressure on water resources. Climate change and environmental pollution are other key issues. A further problem is that Jordan's industry is weak, and population growth high at around three per cent. Many of the population live in cities – but the very young population faces a shortage of productive sources of income. Unemployment is consistently high, with the official rate at 14 per cent and the unofficial rate at around 30 per cent. One-third of the roughly 9.5 million inhabitants live in relative poverty, and women face economic and social development disadvantages compared to men.

Since 2001, water has been the priority in Jordanian-German cooperation. Jordan is one of the world’s most water-deprived countries, and GIZ is helping provide an adequate and stable water and wastewater management system through various measures.