Reflecting the spirit of inclusivity and collaboration of the Heart of Amman (HoA)-Programme, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) in collaboration with UNDP facilitated a participatory panel discussion on the community-led initiatives which are being implemented in downtown Amman. Generously funded by the Government of Japan, implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with GAM and in partnership with the Business Development Center (BDC) and the National Microfinance Bank, the HoA-Programme aims at improving the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable individuals and communities through providing income generating opportunities and enhancing social cohesion.
The meeting was attended by H.E Engineer Hatem Hamlan, GAM Deputy City Manager for Community Development, a number of GAM area managers, UNDP and BDC representatives, as well as project participants and community members. The meeting served as an opportunity to ensure all voices are heard and taken into account and to embrace the active roles of community members. The objective of the meeting was to strengthen partnership and cooperation between GAM and the Programme partners and, harnessing GAM’s critical role in ensuring the alignment and sustainability of the Programme’s activities and city resilience overall.
During the meeting, the partners presented the progress achieved to date and provided a detailed outline of the community-led initiatives. This was followed by a discussion on the important role of GAM in supporting and guiding the initiatives as well as that of the CBOs in ensuring their relevance and sustainability. The partners also highlighted future plans and opportunities for advancing the cultural and social development of the targeted areas.
Mrs. Silke Handley, Team Leader of the Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Livelihoods Unit at UNDP, stressed the importance of adopting an area-based and localized approach to development, and emphasized the crucial role of GAM in supporting the implementation of UNDP’s Programmes and activities that aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalized community members in downtown Amman. She expressed her appreciation to all project partners for their commitment to the Programme and their efforts to sustain and maximize the impact of the activities.
Mr. Nayef Stetieh, CEO of BDC, reiterated the importance of strengthening partnerships between international and local organizations in order to support the development of communities and vulnerable groups. He drew attention to the need to create opportunities for formal employment and self-employment in partnership with the private sector in order to contribute to national efforts of empowering young people.
Engineer Hamlan concluded the meeting by re-iterating the importance of partnerships in advancing the economic and social development of Amman and in providing tangible opportunities for supporting youth, women and vulnerable groups.
The Heart of Amman Programme targets unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 40, who are not enrolled in any educational or vocational training programs. The total number of beneficiaries targeted is 200, of which 50 per cent are women and 10 per cent are persons with disabilities. The implementation areas in downtown Amman include Jabal Al-Qusour, Jabal Al-Joufeh, Jabal Al-Taj, Al-Hashimi Al-Shamali, Al-Hashimi Al-Janoubi, Jabal Al-Nathif, Jabal Al-Qala’, Wadi Al-Haddadeh, Al-Adliyeh, Al-Rjoum, Jabal Amman, Jabal Al-Weibdeh, Al-Mudarraj, Wadi Srour, Al-Muhajireen, Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar and Al-Ashrafiyeh.