Violent extremism is increasingly a major threat to global security, becoming a phenomenon of global nature reflected in an unselective character, warranting an unprecedented action to deal with its consequences. No region, country, or community can claim to be entirely immune to this escalating threat.
The Arab region is particularly affected by this huge threat to safety and security, with increasing trends of violent extremism and radicalization of all types. The escalation of military conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, as well as deteriorating situations in Palestine and Somalia, and the stalemate in the Middle-East peace process have all contributed to the increase in extremism. But so do other, less obvious factors, such as youth marginalization and poverty, inequality, and governance deficits. The drivers of radicalization are complex and inter-linked, including failures in governance structures such as limited access to rule of law, corruption, and inadequate access to basic services; marginalization and lack of opportunities for youth and other vulnerable groups; wide spreading poverty and unemployment and socio-economic inequalities; and cultural issues, among others. These complex challenges cannot be met with separate, sectoral interventions alone and require a comprehensive integrated multi-sectoral approach to address the root causes of radicalization and violent extremism if countries are to stabilize.
Confronted by the wave of radicalization and terrorism in neighboring countries, especially the threats posed by the spread of the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups, Jordan currently faces major challenges in addressing radicalization and extremism within its own borders. This project employs a comprehensive multi- sectoral approach to support national efforts to stabilize the country and immunize it against any possible spread of violent extremism, through the implementation of a coherent inter-linked set of interventions that tackle its root causes, while at the same time empowering local communities, building the capacity of the State organizations to be more responsive to the needs of the citizens, building social capital, creating youth employment, and linking the local, sub-national and national levels of governance for effectiveness.
The immediate objective of the project is to strengthen national efforts in reducing the threat of terrorism and radicalization, especially among youth and vulnerable marginalized societal groups, to ensure the continued stabilization of Jordan. This will be achieved through a set of interventions aiming at (a) strengthening the overall enabling environment (institutionally and organizationally) to fight terrorism and radicalization; (b) supporting livelihoods for employment creation; and (c) fostering inclusion and participation, especially among marginalized social groups. This project is composed of three interlinked integrated support pillars, namely: (a) strengthening national and local capacities for counter-terrorism and de-radicalization; (b) supporting livelihoods creation for marginalized youth and women in poor communities; and (c) fostering social cohesion between Jordanian host communities and Syrian refugees. Such an integrated approach will support national efforts in comprehensively tackling terrorism and radicalization, and enhancing social resilience in the Jordanian society. The project will be directly implemented by UNDP, within the overall Programme Framework “Mitigating the Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Jordanian Host Communities”, implemented by UNDP, and approved by the Government of Jordan. Implementation will be done in cooperation with national organizations, including government ministries, municipalities, NGOs and CBOs.
Outcome 1: National and local capacities strengthened for counter–terrorism and counter-radicalization
Outcome 2: Livelihoods stabilized and job opportunities created for vulnerable Jordanians in host communities through bridging emergency employment to more sustainable livelihoods
Outcome 3: Social cohesion and resilience in host communities strengthened through skills exchange between Syrian refugees and host Jordanians.