Ministry to start ‘urgent’ coordination with UNICEF to respond to additional water challenges

By JT – May 25,2017

Water Ministry highlighted the urgent need to find solutions to water-related issues and endorse a clear plan for projects (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Water Minister Hazem Nasser on Wednesday called for drafting a funding plan to address the needs of host communities and Syrian refugee camps for the summer of 2017, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Nasser spoke during a meeting attended by UNICEF Representative in Jordan Robert Jenkins, its water projects director, Ismail Al Azhari, and several other officials from the water sector.

During the meeting, Nasser stressed that, with the continuation of the Syrian crisis and the challenges of hosting increasing numbers of Syrian refugees, combined with the already difficult water conditions, it is vital to start preparing urgently for a strategic meeting of all concerned donors to draft a funding plan.

The current water season saw a “huge” shortage of water resource, especially in northern areas, where amounts of water available for drinking and household purposes was no more than 75 per cent of that required, Nasser said, noting that this forced the water sector to find solutions and endorse a clear plan for projects to meet the demand in those areas.

The Water Ministry will start “urgent” coordination with UNICEF to discuss a mechanism to develop services within a governmental vision, in refugee camps and host communities, through an “active” partnership with UNICEF, the minister continued , commending the projects already implemented inside and outside camps, especially in Zaatari and Azraq camps.

He commended UNICEF’s efforts in the Kingdom to support the water sector to face the increasing pressures.

Nasser and Jenkins discussed the country programme of the UN agency for 2018-2022, which will focus on areas that receive high numbers of Syrian refugees

For his part, Jenkins commended Jordanian efforts to host a large number of Syrian refugees, voicing the international community and UNICEF’s appreciation of the Jordanian government’s efforts to serve the refugees. He noted that UNICEF will boost its cooperation so that the water sector can deal with challenges, adding that work will be done “urgently” to hold the donors meeting in the “near future”.