Remarks by Anders Pedersen, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator marking Syria 10
"As we look forward to continuing providing basic services, we need to find sustainable solutions to expand the Jordan Compact. Now is the time!"
Dear media representatives,
I would really, at this stage, once again recognize from the UN and the UN in Jordan, the absolute incredible way that the government and people in Jordan have responded to the impact of the Syrian crisis in Jordan.
I think that it’s fair to say that the level of hospitality demonstrated by Jordan, the Government, and all the Jordanians is absolutely unprecedented. It serves as a role model for countries around the world.
From my side, as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan, just another huge thank you to the people of Jordan and the to the government of Jordan for the way that you demonstrate this thinking and hospitality. It is absolutely unprecedented and is a role model for all other countries to follow.
Once again to acknowledge the level of support provided by our partners, who we often call the donors, but are really our partners, who have also demonstrated an unprecedented wave of stepping forward and responding to this situation.
Without you, we would never have been able to, as international community, to respond in the way that we have done, and I think that it is truly acknowledged by the Government of Jordan as well.
Three things I would like to mention, so to speak, we are providing a foundation, a foundation of context in which we now operate:
The first being on the response to COVID-19. I think we all know that COVID has really exacerbated the all pre-existing vulnerabilities, of all people. Around the globe and of course in Jordan.
I think it is also important while we speak to this, is to recognize that it is all people who have been exposed to it in an equal way. It’s not to say we have refugees and others. It’s all just underlying that it is something that has affected all people more or less equally.
We see, again and again, that the most vulnerable people are the ones who have been suffering the most. Amongst those vulnerable people, we have the refugees.
What we are seeing today is a situation in which, on the one hand, we are really commending the Government of Jordan for the way that they have truly included all the refugees in the response, while, on the other hand, we are also equally keen to see that all the ways that are responding to the situation in Jordan will always have the Syrian refugees included in this at its core.
We at the UN from the very beginning have been approaching this as a Three-Tiered Approach. We said back in March 2020 that we would do three things simultaneously.
1) We would respond to the immediate health crisis. That was the obvious, first, and most urgent response. We simultaneously were then:
2) Securing that lifesaving assistance would continue as it has been provided previously. And that was very much in the focus of the Syrian refugees and other refugees living in Jordan.
3) Thirdly, we would ask, from day one, we would look to the Socio-Economic impact of the crisis in the first place. Looking into the medium and long term implications of COVID.
That is the way that the UN family in Jordan has been pursuing the response, that is the way that we will continue. Doing it within what we call our Socio-Economic Response Plan.
The second thing I wanted to highlight very much, is that as we are now continuing our response to COVID, is that we are very adamant in underlying that we cannot only look at the situation in the way that it was before.
There is no new normal, we have to learn from the lessons and experiences through 2020, and we have to learn to do what we call build forward better.
I think what COVID has demonstrated on all people living in Jordan, refugees and others alike, is that we have to make sure that the vulnerabilities that we have seen previously will not be the same as we go out of this, and that the resiliencies of society have to be strengthened.
My last point is simply to flag that, in two weeks we will have the Brussels Conference at which partners, donors, and implementing agencies will come together and once again with the affected governments, assess the impacts of the Syrian crisis and how we will take it forward.
I think that this is another exceptionally important occasion at which we will see if we, as an international community, be able to carry forward and really reassure that we stand by all Syrians and Syrian Refugees as we stand by in our continued response.
In this regard for Jordan, of course it is particularly important to see the future of the Jordan Response Plan, that will also be launched shortly. My colleagues will speak later on the funding situation, and the need for additional resources, in order for us to continue our programs, but it is really just underlying the critical importance at this stage that we really stand by the Syrians and Syrian Refugees and continue the level of response that we have seen so far.
With this, I am ending my first remarks and I will give the floor to my other UN colleagues.