Jordan is located in a high-risk earthquake prone area due to its proximity to the Rift Valley separating the African and Asian plates. This makes Jordan vulnerable to flash floods and landslides in Amman, Aqaba, Petra and most other populated urban as well as rural areas.
Climate change is likely to further exacerbate the frequency and intensity of other already existing main hazards in Jordan, such as flash floods and drought. Jordan is already the 4th most water scarce country in the world and suffers from devastating flash floods with regular intervals.
Jordan’s capacity to deal with natural hazard risk is still predominantly focused at the response stage. UNDP is working with the Government of Jordan to fundamentally change this, emphasise DRR in national strategic planning and shift the focus of DRR efforts to the prevention and preparedness of disasters.
In order to clear Jordan of landmines, the country signed the Mine Ban Convention in August 1998 and ratified it in November 1998. The Convention came into force on 1 May 1999, and with UNDP’s support through more than seven years the last minefield was cleared in April 2012 by demining teams from the local communities near the Syrian border, including the first all-female demining team in the Arab States. UNDP supported the demining in close partnership with the National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation (NCDR).
How we address these challenges
UNDP is the leading multilateral agency in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction in Jordan.
UNDP works directly with national and international partners to prevent, mitigate, manage and recover from natural disasters in Jordan. We collaborate with national and local authorities as well as civil society and academia. The main focus of UNDP in Jordan is to make sure that a transformational change takes place whereby Jordan moves towards managing disaster risks rather than responding to the destructive consequences of disasters.
UNDP is supporting Disaster Risk Management efforts in Jordan through four interlinked projects: two nation-wide, one in Aqaba and one in Petra. It is anticipated that the UNDP-supported projects in Aqaba and Petra will provide the local authorities with fully functional DRM Units within the structures of the local authorities in the two locations in Southern Jordan to.
This institutional set-up is largely accomplished and will ensure sustainable and locally owned governance of disaster risk management efforts. The work will be guided by localized DRM Master Plans that UNDP is supporting with continuous technical assistance. Meanwhile, UNDP Jordan continues to build capacity with the DRM Units and pilot community-based DRR activities with selected neighborhood volunteers.
Additionally, UNDP Jordan’s two nation-wide DRR projects – based in Amman – are strengthening the resilience of the country in two different fields. On one hand through assessments and retrofit design of critical infrastructure, which as a significant spin-off will generate knowledge that will become part of the curriculum for Civil Engineering studies at selected Jordanian universities.
On the other hand, UNDP is the lead agency on current efforts by Jordan Civil Defense and Ministry of Environment to engage in the combined field of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in order to find linkages and synergies.
The single largest donor for the UNDP DRR portfolio is the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).