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Switzerland signed today, Tuesday, July 9th 2013, with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan an agreement for Humanitarian Assistance, Technical and Financial Cooperation. This agreement will reinforce the ties of friendship between the two countries and will contribute to a deepening of the bilateral relations.
The Jordan Swiss contacts date back to 1949, when Switzerland recognized the Kingdom of Jordan as an independent state. The Embassy of Switzerland was opened in Amman in 1970 and in 2001 a Swiss Development Cooperation Office which extended and strengthened the bilateral relations. Until 2008 Jordan ranked as a priority country for economic cooperation by State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and since then the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) expanded its activities in Jordan.
SDC’s activities in Jordan
Through its regional cooperation strategy of 2010-2014, Switzerland plays an active role in providing assistance to people in need in Jordan. SDC has supported Jordan in implementing projects in Basic Services and Livelihood, Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction with a total amount of 44 million US Dollars (42 million Swiss Francs) since 2001.
· Support to education through the rehabilitation of 21 schools in different governorates, (Amman, Ajloun, Irbid, Jerash, Mafraq and Zarqa) and building of a new wing in Baqa’a girl’s school (Balqaa governorate).
· Assistance to governmental institutions through capacity building programs for the Department of Palestinian Affairs, installation and upgrade of IT system in the Ministry of Education as well as the rehabilitation of the governorate building in Ramtha District.
· Support to the government through the construction of an underground network as well as the rehabilitation of the whole water supply system of the Palestine refugee camp in Jerash.
· Support for the government of Jordan in the process leading up to the establishment of the Juvenile Justice legal system.
· Support the Jordan Civil Defense Classification as a heavy Urban Search and Rescue team being the first Arab state that was recently classified.
Furthermore, providing emergency assistance in crisis situations is one of SDC’s key strategies, the current Syrian refugee crisis being the most comprehensive and recent endeavor. Since the beginning of the Syrian upheaval, Switzerland has supported Jordan directly in burden sharing through international and national organizations and NGOs with a total sum of 17 million US Dollars (16 million Swiss Francs) over the last two years.