UNDP Jordan celebrating the International And Arab Water Day with Ministry of Water and Irrigation

24 Mar 2014

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H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Nsour, Prime Minister

H.E. Dr. Hazem Al Nasser, Minister of Water and Irrigation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the invitation to UNDP to participate in the celebration of the International Water Day; we are honored to be here with the Government of Jordan also on the occasion of the Arab Water Day. As H.E. referred, Jordan is one of the poorest countries in the world in water resources, which is a challenge environmentally, socially and economically for Jordan – However, the water sector remains significant in providing development opportunities that your esteemed ministry worked hard to promote.

 

The international community celebrates each year the International Water Day. This year the celebration focuses on the links between water and energy, which are both critical to poverty eradication and sustainable development and can help or hinder the efforts which we are all working towards to build stable societies and provide a decent life for all. Climate change, which is caused mostly by the unsustainable use of energy, leads to the aggravation of water stress and water scarcity in many regions of the world, including Jordan, which undermines sustainable human development efforts and access to water and energy, particularly if the current trend of global warming continues.

UNDP has worked for more than 35 years in Jordan in various development fields. UNDP offers financial and technical assistance to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since 1976 in different areas to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals, strengthen governance, disaster management, climate change and environmental protection. UNDP works in the framework of national priorities on the basis that national ownership is the most important principle of the approach followed by UNDP.

UNDP supports solutions to the development challenges faced in dealing with the impact of climate change on the protection of the environment, where the program supports a package of projects in the water sector, which increases the flexibility of the sector to face various challenges, including climate change.

At the national level UNDP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Ministry of Environment finalized a program to increase adaptation to climate change, where for the first time, a specialized study was elaborated to understand the effects of climate change on the water resources in Jordan in order to develop programs and strategies to incorporate these challenges in the national agenda.

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The National Water Sector Strategy in Jordan, which was launched in 2008 and extends to 2020, highlights the importance of supporting local communities in Jordan to deal with the various water scarcity challenges. UNDP supports these communities through a package of projects at the local level to deal with the challenge; for example, treatment of gray water and providing water harvesting in homes, schools and mosques in Madaba , Karak , Tafila and Azraq. Furthermore, UNDP supports projects to reduce the consumption of water through the distribution of water efficiency devices on farmers, in addition to pilot projects to reduce water consumption in agriculture in Azraq using modern irrigation technology. This is accompanied by a number of initiatives to increase awareness, as well as training activities on the optimal ways to deal with water resources.

Based on UNDP, the importance that UNDP avails to the partnership with civil society in the development process, the Programme in collaboration with “Every Drop Matters " initiative will launch a new call for proposals for water projects in communities next May, to support non-state actors in the implementation of water initiatives.

UNDP will continue to support the priorities of the Ministry of Water and irrigation, particularly with regard to confronting the threat of climate change, and we look forward to strengthening the partnership with the Ministry to implement a number of developmental projects that serve Jordan.

Please allow me to highlight the impact of the Syrian Refugee crisis on the host communities, where UNDP works to support host communities in the northern governorates in various sectors, and I am happy to express our readiness to contribute to the full implementation of the National Resilience Plan in confronting this crisis.

Finally, allow me to express to Your Excellency my sincere thanks and appreciation to you for this kind invitation. Peace God's mercy and blessings be upon you.