Donors Happy with Municipality Aid Package

International contributors to a $53 million aid program designed to maintain public services in communities hosting Syrian refugees around the Kingdom say they’re pleased with its results a year since its launch.

“We’re very happy that the project is actually performing,” said Tim Williams of the UK government’s Department for International Development. Other contributors to the three-year Jordan Emergency Services and Social Resilience Program (JESSRP) are Canada, Switzerland, the World Bank, and the Jordanian government.

According to the UNHCR, there are nearly 620,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, with around 85 percent of them staying in urban centers where they share space, resources, and services with their Jordanian hosts. The program aims to reduce the burden placed on Jordanian communities hosting the refugees. The funds will be spent on maintaining services provided by local municipalities, such as waste collection, street lighting, water supply, pest control, and parks and public spaces.

The Municipalities Supported by JESSRP are Irbid, West Irbid, Al Ramtha, Sahel Horan, Sho’lah, Mafraq, Bal’ama, Sarhan, as well as Zaatari and Mansheyeh.

The UK’s Ambassador to Jordan Peter Millett, hopes the program will benefit both Syrians and Jordanians living in nine selected municipalities. “The aim is to improve the quality of services provided to both Jordanians and Syrians,” he said in a statement provided to Venture, adding that the contribution is part of the UK’s $250 million of assistance to Jordan since the start of the Syrian crisis.

It’s anticipated that further international donors will come on board throughout the duration of the program, which would enable the JESSRP to expand its reach to more municipalities in the coming two years.