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Amman- The United Nations Development Programme in Jordan announced the launch of Takatof: United We Stand, a series of virtual sessions held in partnership with the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. The dialogue sessions link experts and community members to give voice to the less visible local initiatives that supported the government response to COVID-19.

Takatof brings “people first” through the recognition of individual initiatives that promote social cohesion and active citizenship and solidarity amidst the coronavirus crisis. The episodes will be followed by position papers to inform policymakers, local and international civil society organization and the public at large.

UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella said that Takatof sessions are consistent with the initiatives, projects and activities recently launched by the UNDP in Jordan to support national efforts at various fronts in light of the exceptional circumstance that the Kingdom is going through in response to the global spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“The dialogues highlight collective action and convene experts, government officials, scientists, health professionals, community leaders to harness knowledge and provide much-needed advice and discussions on the threats, concepts and opportunities for the Jordanian society at the political, economic, business and social levels,” she said. “None of us is safe until all of us are safe and no one is left behind, ”she added.

Ferrer Olivella highlighted the UN focus areas to the global pandemic; support provided by the United Nations Country Team in Jordan to the Jordanian government, including support provided by UNDP Country Office. 

The Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan (CSS) Prof. Zaid Eyadat said: “The Jordanian community has proven in all of its sectors a massive ability to deal with the crisis and adapt by providing models of cooperation and social cohesion that reflect the community’s culture among history.” 

The first episode hosted Ferrer Olivella, Spokesperson for the National Anti-Pandemic Committee Dr Natheer Obeidat, a medical intern at Zarqa Governmental Hospital Dr Bara’ Abu Nema, and nurse at Prince Hamza Hospital Ayat Shuqeirat.

The second episode hosted Acting Secretary-General of Ministry of Local Administration Osama Al Azzam; UNDP Jordan Country Office Programme and Head of Programmes Majida Al Assaf; Head of Irbid Governorate Joint Services’ Council Reem Abu Al Rub; Head of Ghor AlSafi and AlNak’e Local Council Aida D’Eisat, Founder and Coordinator of Himmetna Initiative in Al Zarqa Governorate Rakan Fakhoury and Coordinator of Um Al Jmal Initiative Jumana Al Masa’eed.  

The episode discussed the range of functions that municipalities -being closest to the people- with the help of local communities, are taking to respond successfully to the challenges brought by COVID-19.

Al Assaf presented the strategic UNDP interventions in supporting the Ministry of Local Administration and how the UNDP has re-oriented, repurposed and introduced new digital initiatives to support Jordan government’s, including MoLA’s immediate response, highlighting the need to harnessing governance into the COVID-19 response.  

The sessions were welcomed by the intellectual community. Dr Obeidat said: “We have learned that dealing with this battle against the pandemic will not be successful without solidarity, cooperation and unitedness.”

“We have seen unity prevailing among members of the National Committee of Epidemics, consisting of the different sectors and represented by all of the health sectors in Jordan: Ministry of Health, universities, private sector and the Royal Medical Services,” he added.

Dr Baraa Abu Ne’meh stated: “Jordanians, in general, have the intention to assist our nation, they can sacrifice what is valuable for the sake of the people. It was proven to the whole world and all of the developed countries that Jordan’s first message is that a human is the most valuable.”

Future sessions will discuss pressing issues such as e-governance and digital economy, decentralization, social cohesion, the National Defense Law, and the economic shocks of COVID-19.

Episodes can be viewed on UNDP Jordan YouTube Channel and CSS Facebook page, website and YouTube channel.

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