After months of technical assistance, the USAID-funded Jordan Poverty Alleviation project, led by Nathan Associates’ Chief of Party Janet Hansen, achieved one of its principal goals: reorganization of the National Aid Fund (NAF).
Prime Minister Faisal Fayez announced the government’s commitment to restructure the NAF in a speech to Parliament December 23. Stressing the need to confront the challenges of poverty and unemployment, he pledged to improve the NAF’s service delivery to families--a primary focus of JPAP. Calling poverty a “disease,” H.E. Prime Minister also announced plans for a National Forum for Poverty Alleviation and Unemployment with government entities and stakeholders to identify the causes of poverty. JPAP has been working with both the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Labor to develop the forum.
Last fall Ms. Hansen met with Minister of Labor Amjad Majali to discuss the ministry’s efforts to increase employment opportunities for the unemployed and the working poor. Minister Majali said that his ministry is committed to improving the lives of citizens by giving them the job training they need for employment. The JPAP team is working closely with the Ministry of Labor, NAF, and the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that training and employment programs target NAF beneficiaries and other Jordanians living below the poverty line.
Expanding the NAF while streamlining its administration marks another milestone for better service delivery for the poor. When the government launched its Poverty Reduction Strategy last year, the NAF was serving 30 percent of the poor. It has now reached nearly 40 percent, lifting 193,000 persons to the poverty line in Jordan.