Micro animal husbandry brings self-sufficiency to poor communities in Jordan

Dina, one of the beneficiaries of the UNDP-supported joint food and nutritional Security programme

“With his reassurance, I accepted the goats willingly and was excited about the idea of raising them,” says Dina. 

Dina’s family was chosen from amongst hundreds of other poor families to benefit from this UNDP-supported joint food and nutritional Security programme, which addresses the challenges of food availability, access, and nutrition in different areas in Jordan, including Southern Shuneh.

The joint programme brings the together a wide array of institutions including the ministries of Planning and International Cooperation; Agriculture; Education; Industry and Trade; and Health, alongside the Department of Statistics and the National Centre for Agricultural Research. UNICEF, UNIDO, and WFP also support of the implementation of the project in designated local communities.


  • The Joint UN Program on Food and Nutrition Security in Jordan towards poverty alleviation provides credible, coherent assistance to the government based on a Comprehensive Framework for Action on food security. The joint programme is implemented at the national and local levels. It included 4 outcomes namely: national food security response is enhanced and coordinated; small-holder farmer sustainable food production is increased; nutrition interventions and safety nets strengthened and made more accessible; and sustainable livelihoods and food security of the poor are enhanced/improved. This programme started in 2012 until 2013
  • The UN agencies participating in the programme are: UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, and UNIDO.
  • The implementing partners are: Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Health, Department of Statistics, Coordination Commission for Social Solidarity, National Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension.

“We followed a set of specific criteria in determining eligible families,” explains Khalill Odwan, the local government official who visited Dina and the focal point of the programme in Southern Shuneh.

Eligibility was based on whether the family had a provider; whether the head of the household was widowed or divorced; the number of family members; and whether the family was caring for members with disabilities.

“Most importantly, the family had to be willingness to accept the goats and commit to take good care of them,” continues Odwan. Dina, along with the heads of other families that were chosen, received training from a local veterinarian. “I did not have an idea of how to milk a goat” Dina says, “but after I the training, I knew everything I needed to take good care of the goats.”

The veterinarian had examined the goats and made sure they were healthy and pregnant, prior to handing them over to the families. He continues to pay regular visits to the families and monitor their provision of care closely.

In addition, the programme built a small barn for the goats on the residential plot of each recipient family. Creatively, Dina recycled an old rusted door, leftover panels of wood and other scraps material to construct a fence and create an extension to the barn in order to give the goats more space to wander around.

Dina was happy to announce that her three goats are pregnant again after having given birth to four kids.

She and her family are now self-sufficient in dairy products and is thinking of starting her own dairy business with her seven goats, in the near future.

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