Germany increases support to school maintenance with additional 40.5m euro grant

  • The project will focus on providing maintenance and cleaning of schools located in communities that host the highest number of refugees, while also striving to improve livelihoods through providing cash for work opportunities for both vulnerable Jordanian citizens as well as the Syrian refugees living in host communities. 

In the framework of Germany’s continuing support to Jordan, Christian Richter, head of Employment and Education Middle East KfW (German Development Bank) and Muhammad Usman Akram, director of UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman, signed a financing agreement on July 29 to expand support for maintenance in schools and generating livelihood opportunities in Jordan. 

The grant financing of 40.5 million euros will be made available by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on behalf of the German government to support labour-intensive school maintenance through a second phase of the programme.

In particular, the project will focus on providing maintenance and cleaning of schools located in communities that host the highest number of refugees, while also striving to improve livelihoods through providing cash for work opportunities for both vulnerable Jordanian citizens as well as the Syrian refugees living in host communities. 

The project will be implemented over the course of five years in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, school authorities, Ministry of Labour, and the Ministry of Social Development, aiming to create 12,000 work opportunities, and maintaining and cleaning 390 schools in Amman, Irbid, Mafraq, Balqa, Ajloun and Zarqa Governorates.

The Ministry of Education highlighted the importance of this project with KfW and UNOPS, given its focus on one of the ministry’s priority areas, which is the provision of students with a safe and adequate learning environment. 

Representatives of the Ministry of Education indicated that such initiatives are highly aligned with the ministry’s Education Strategic Plan, which sets a target of maintaining 800 schools annually, and help offset some of the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis which the Jordanian government has been dealing with over the past few years. 

The ministry is appreciative of this strategic support with its “long-standing partner” KfW and is looking forward to this collaboration with UNOPS. 

Mark Schwiete, director KfW Amman Office, underlined “the long-lasting and fruitful cooperation” with the government of Jordan in the field of education, stating that: “Education and employment is an important focal area of the German Jordanian financial cooperation. Via KfW the German government (BMZ) has amongst others, financed the construction of 37 schools, provision of informal education as well as financing for teacher salaries up until now. This new project complements our joint activities with the government of Jordan and will contribute to the improvement of learning conditions through the provision of basic maintenance and cleaning to public schools.”

This labour intensive cash for work project is a response to target poverty and unemployment providing short employment opportunities to vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees and ensuring 25 per cent female participation. 

Beyond the short-term employment, the project will also enhance access to longer-term employment opportunities through training and hands-on experience. The project also contributes to the national COVID-19 response through sanitisation of schools and provision of hygiene supplies. 

Reflecting on the partnership, Akram said: “UNOPS places high importance on initiatives that directly support the government and the people of Jordan. We are pleased to further our cooperation with KFW in support of vulnerable Jordanians and Syrians while contributing to the improvement of the education sector in Jordan.”

KfW finances investments and advisory services on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

Financial cooperation started in the 1960s with main focus on education and employment generation as well as water and sanitation. The ongoing and envisaged projects in Jordan amount to about 1.3 billion EUR.

UNOPS helps the UN and its partners to provide peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions. 

The organisation’s mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. UNOPS services cover infrastructure, project management, procurement, financial management and human resources. Partners call on UNOPS to supplement their own capacities, improve speed, reduce risks, boost cost-effectiveness and increase quality.

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