FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO and MoA launch project to enhance food security and livelihoods of vulnerable rural women in Jordan

16 May 2023, Amman, Jordan – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), launched today a project to enhance food security and livelihoods of vulnerable rural women communities in Jordan throughthe “Enhancing resilience of rural women communities through Forest Products” project, funded by FAO.

In line with a Technical Cooperation Progamme (TCP) agreement signed by both parties, FAO conducted an inception workshop to acquaint stakeholders and programme partners with the scope and outlines of the project, in addition to covering the implementation strategy and work plan.

The workshop was held under the patronage of his Excellency Eng. Khaled Al-Huneifat, Minister of Agriculture and attended by a group of selected stakeholders and government partners.

The overall aim of the project is to increase rural women’s engagement, enhance their income in forest products and to strengthen their skills. It will target 120 individual women in three Governorates (Ajloun, Al-Balqa and Jerash) with an estimated budget of 400,000 USDs fully funded by FAO.

H.E the Minister of Agriculture, Eng. Khaled Al-Huneifat stressed on the importance of building the capacities of rural women and said, “In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture established the Rural Development and Women Empowerment Directorate believing in the crucial role of women in the economic development.”

FAO Representative in Jordan, Eng. Nabil Assaf, highlighted that Forests in Jordan play a modest role in meeting the daily needs of woody products. Nevertheless, they play a more important role creating livelihoods opportunities for rural people. This contributes to poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction, Assaf said” the project will be mainly focused to empower women by building their capacities and by providing tool kits that will support them in enhancing their livelihoods”.

On a different note Ms. Sheri Restima-Anderson the resident coordinator of the United Nations in Jordan said, “Jordan’s forests, like in most Mediterranean countries, provide considerable goods and services and contributes to the improvement of the living conditions of rural communities. Important forest resources include non-timber forest products on which a large population is heavily dependent. Moreover, they play an essential role in people's lives because they are an undeniable source of livelihood products and income.” She added, “By enhancing the value of forest products, we can increase these communal benefits of the forest further, thereby reducing poverty and unemployment. Communities will have improved access to markets through agricultural fairs and increased access to micro-financing.”

The project is expected to achieve the several inputs including conducting gender-sensitive value chain mapping and analysis of the forest products, the project will also conduct a comprehensive capacity building program for 120 individual females, the capacity building will be followed by providing tool kits to support women through the granting scheme, finally the project will improve the access to market through the provision of Microfinance for entrepreneurs and establishing three agricultural fairs in the three targeted governorates, namely; Balqaa, Jerash and Ajloun

The project is in-line with Jordan Country Programming Framework Priority number 2: Sustainable development and use of natural resources, including water, land, range and forests, Priority 3: Resilience of rural and peri-urban livelihoods, and priority 4: access to market. It also contributes to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); such as SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG2: Zero hunger, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth and SDG10: Reduce inequalities.