Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation reaffirms commitment to strengthen partnership with Jordan during virtual visit

Amman – 25 November 2020 – During her one-day virtual visit to Jordan, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Sigrid Kaag re-affirmed her country’s continued support and close partnership with Jordan. The Minister held meetings with Jordanian ministers, partners and beneficiaries.

The one day visit started with a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Hussam Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. The two ministers renewed their commitment for strengthened cooperation in a number of areas, especially amid the regional and refugee crises and the economic and health challenges brought about by the covid-19 crisis.

Together, both ministers thoroughly discussed the results of the two countries’ cooperation during the last years. They launched the Jordan Country Programme for the PROSPECTS partnership – a multi-year programme bringing together IFC, ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Bank to support vulnerable refugee and host communities in the area of social protection, resilience and  productive engagement in the economy. The 74 million euro partnership focuses on three key pillars: education, employment and protection, and is fully funded by the Netherlands.  Minster Kaag also marked the importance of mental health and well-being by signing one of the three murals commissioned by the Embassy as part of their mental health awareness campaign, #mindthemind.

Agriculture and water are main priorities for the Dutch development programming in Jordan. In light of this, Minister Kaag announced that the Netherlands will add another 7.4 million euro to a food security program, which also involves the famous Wageningen University.  The aim is to  include small scale farmers in the agricultural value chain and link them to markets.  She also announced that the Netherlands will contribute 5.7 million euro to the Water Operator Partnership between Yarmouk Water Company (YMC) and World Waternet Amsterdam. This partnership will strengthen YMC’s wastewater treatment operations and management through long-term peer-to-peer support.

During her virtual visit, the Minister also paid a visit to the Abu-Sido farm which is a direct beneficiary of the Haed-Jo project implemented by Eco Consult. Minister Kaag was taken on a virtual field trip around the farm where she was able to hear more about Abu-Sido’s cultivation and post-harvesting practices that have reduced water use, enhanced the competitiveness of Jordanian products and created a significant number of jobs also for Syrian refugees. The Minister also paid a visit to two Community Based Organisations whose members enhanced their livelihoods by growing vegetables thereby also creating jobs for Syrian refugees. These interventions have been made possible by Dutch support in partnership with Eco-consult.

Discussions also focused on  the unprecedented economic shock of covid-19 and its consequences on rising unemployment rates and social challenges.  The Dutch minister  underlined that the support from the Netherlands will continue to be geared towards economic development that provides better prospects for all, especially youth. Minister Kaag also announced her support to an additional 5.1 million euro  program under PROSPECTS supporting increased social security for employees through the Emergency Unemployment and Employment Stabilisation Fund.

In the presence of the Minister of Labour, H.E. Mr. Maen Al-Qatamin and Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, H.E. Mr. Ahmad Al Hanandeh, Minister Kaag launched the ‘Skilling for Increased Economic Participation’ project. A four year project which will be implemented by GIZ and funded by the Netherlands for 5 million euros. The program aims to bridge  the gap between  actual demand from the labour market and the skills in ICT . Working close with the Jordanian private sector, it will provide youth with the necessary technical skills to increase their economic prospects. Possibilities for skills improvement in agriculture and tourism will be studied.

Minister Kaag wrapped up her one-day visit with a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Ayman Al- Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two ministers underscored the strong bilateral ties between the two countries and reviewed regional developments.

Jordan was designated by the Kingdom of the Netherlands as a priority country in 2019, with the Netherlands pledging to invest more than 200 million euro  to Jordan to support hosting of refugees and vulnerable host communities alike. The Netherlands and Jordan enjoy expanded cooperation in a number of fields, including food security, water management, technical and vocational education, trade and investment, entrepreneurship, and human rights. 

For media queries:
Seema Huneidi
Politics, Press and Cultural Affairs Officer
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
+96279 9708461