Edited by Ellen Kalisperati,
AMMAN — The government on Tuesday launched the 2013-2020 National Poverty Strategy, which seeks to reduce the poverty rate to 6 per cent by the end of this period. A report issued recently by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation showed that poverty rate among Jordanians stood at 14.4 per cent in 2010, compared with 13.3 per cent in 2008. The five-aspect plan, launched at the Economic and Social Council (ESC), addresses poverty in a new holistic approach with a focus on human development, according to a statement received by The Jordan Times.
The aspects are: Care, gender, education, health, excellence in entrepreneurial projects that target the underprivileged and focus on services provided for the poor in the agricultural, transport, environment and housing sectors.
“The concept of poverty is narrow in terms of geography and we want to expand it to the district level in order to achieve the greatest level of fairness and accuracy in conducting the household income and expenditure survey,” Planning Minister Jafar Hassan said.
He added that the survey’s sample will be increased from 13,000 to 32,000, noting that addressing poverty will be on the household level and in cooperation with civil society organisations. Hassan indicated that the plan coordinates between the efforts extended by ministries, non-government and civil society organisations and donors to combat poverty. The minister said the database launched by the government last November to redirect subsidies to those who deserve them will be used and developed in the upcoming stage to help combat poverty.
Minister of Social Development WajihAzaizeh said the strategy does not stipulate the exclusion of beneficiaries from the National Aid Fund, but will help improve their living conditions. ESC President JawadAnani underlined the significance of the plan, noting that future governments should designate financial allocations for it. Work is under way to develop a detailed plan and executive programmes to implement the strategy, the statement said.
The government adopted the first poverty strategy in 2002, under which several social programmes have been implemented to create more job opportunities, eliminate unemployment and provide cash and in-kind assistance to the poor and marginalised groups.