Netherlands signs projects with Finn Church Aid & Partners for Good focused on skilling and employing youth in the agriculture and tourism sectors for a total of 6 million euro

Amman, Jordan - Today, Tuesday 23 November 2021, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a signing ceremony to mark the official launch of two projects that will be separately implemented by contracting partners Finn Church Aid and Partners for Good. The ceremony took place at the Embassy, in the presence of H.E. Ambassador Harry Verweij, Finn Church Aid Country Director, Mr. Mazen Khzouz and President and CEO of  Partners for Good, Mr. Walid Al-Tarawneh. 

©Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jordan

Funding allocated for the two projects total 3 million euros each and will be implemented by a consortia of local partners over a period of three years.

“Jordan’s resources lies in its human capital. In launching these two new projects we aim to continue supporting youth by training and employing them in the agriculture and tourism sectors, which are primed to contribute to the Jordanian economy. Youth bring energy, creativity and innovation to these two sectors and their continued engagement is of utmost importance.” said H.E. Harry Verweij,  Ambassador of the Netherlands to Jordan.

The ‘COOL-YA’ project which stands for Creating Attractive Opportunities for Livelihood of Youth in Agriculture will be implemented by the consortium led by Finn Church Aid, in partnership with Jordan Exporters & Producers Association for Fruit & Vegetables (JEPA), Jordan Agricultural Engineers Association (JAEA) and a local Jordanian university. Over a period of three years, COOL-YA seeks to overcome the challenge of low youth engagement in the agriculture sector by highlighting the sector’s competitive, dynamic and profitable potential. To attract youth, partners will focus on introducing innovative technologies, entrepreneurship opportunities, and agri-ventures to youth. Furthermore, the project will support young farmers and cooperatives with infrastructure enhancements, skills training and state of the art pre and post-harvest techniques. It will be implemented in Mafraq, Irbid and the Jordan Valley.

“Throughout the different consultation sessions we had with youth during the conceptual phase of this project, we were able to better understand their hopes, concerns and challenges regarding their economic empowerment in the agriculture sector. We have also realized that technology, ICT solutions and innovation are crucial entry points for youth engagement in this economic sector. By deploying the relevant tools and platforms, we will get a better chance to encourage youth interest in participating in this –perceived- conventional economic sector” – said Mazen Khzouz, FCA Jordan Country Director. 

The second project signed today is titled ‘Youth-JO: Level UP!’ and will be implemented by Partners for Good in partnership with Luminus Education, Advance Consulting and ECEAT. The aim of this project is to enhance the economic participation of 1,500 youth in Jordan through upskilling, job placement and matchmaking, and developing their entrepreneurial capabilities. The project will be delivered through an integrated approach that capacitates youth to overcome their barriers, work together with their communities to stimulate self-employment, and use technical and soft skills to their advantage in ensuring (self-)employment in agricultural and tourism value chains.

Mr. Waleed Al-Tarawneh, the CEO of Partners for Good also highlighted the importance of this project in enabling young people in a number of governorates of the Kingdom and linking them with job opportunities in specific sectors, as well as supporting young people to explore opportunities for self-employment by connecting them with the many opportunities offered by value chains in the targeted sectors. Al-Tarawneh noted that all project activities will be implemented in partnership and coordination with all relevant official, civil parties and highlighted the valuable partnership with the Dutch embassy and the tireless efforts it is putting to support Jordan in order to achieve its development goals.

Through both projects, approximately 3,000 Jordanian and refugee beneficiaries including farmers, students, and youth interested in agro technology will be reached. Synergies between the COOL-YA project and the Youth-JO: Level UP! project will be formed during the inception phase of both projects.

The two projects bring together a number of priorities of Dutch development programming in Jordan, namely developing TVET pathways for youth, bridging the gap between skills and jobs, promoting decent and long-term jobs for youth and women, and supporting the agriculture sector to become more productive.