WFP Jordan Country Brief, October 2018

from World Food Programme
Published on 31 Oct 2018

In Numbers

487,489 Syrian refugees assisted through cashbased transfers

412,349 Jordanian and Syrian schoolchildren receive healthy snacks through the School Meals Programme

USD 109 m six months (November 2018 - April 2019) net funding requirements

880,455 people assisted in October 2018

Operational Context

Jordan is an upper middle-income country, with a population of 9.5 million, of which 2.9 million are noncitizens, including refugees. Nonetheless, it is a resourcepoor, food-deficit country with limited agricultural land, no energy resources and scarce water supply. According to the Department of Statistics, unemployment soared to 18.4 percent during the first quarter of 2018 – the highest in 25 years. Unemployment rate among men stood at 15.3 percent compared to 30 percent among women.

Nationwide, 0.5 percent of Jordanian households are considered food insecure, and an additional 13 percent are vulnerable to food insecurity. Over 14 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and a third is considered transient poor. Analysis from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) further shows that poverty over the life cycle is concentrated among children, in particular those between the ages of 5 and 12, with proportions reaching 20 percent for this age group. WFP’s 2018 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment (CFSVA) shows a worsening food security situation among Syrian refugees in Jordan.

WFP has been present in Jordan since 1964.

Operational Updates

• WFP started internal and external consultations for the formulation of the Country Strategic Plan (CSP) 2020–2022. Consultations are being planned with the Government of Jordan, UN agencies, and national and international NGOs. The CSP will also be informed by the Strategic Review on Food and Nutrition Security, led by HRH Prince Al Hassan bin Talal, which will be launched in December.

• As of October, 83 percent of Syrians assisted by WFP in host communities are provided with unrestricted cash transfers by either withdrawing their assistance in cash from ATMs or as restricted food vouchers redeemable at WFP-contracted shops, or both. The roll-out of this modality will be completed by early 2019.

• WFP introduced the “nursing hour” for women working under the Healthy Kitchen Model. Lactating mothers are entitled to a daily one-hour break which can be taken during the reporting time in agreement with field supervisors. This comes following WFP’s corporate advocacy to support breastfeeding as part of its mission to reach Zero Hunger by 2030.

• As part of WFP’s technical assistance, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research has requested WFP’s support to explore potential additional models for the national school meals programme, including a private sector model through which private companies would be contracted to provide school meals to school children. WFP undertook a study which included a visit to the private sector model implemented by Sodexo in France. During the visit, WFP explored the institutional and policy framework for school feeding in France, the different school feeding models in place and the role played by the private sector with the aim of informing the design of a potential private sector model for the Jordan National School Feeding Programme. The mission was attended by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Director of Education and a member of the School Health and Nutrition Department.