News

UNESCO and the EU support livelihoods through cultural heritage development in Jordan and Iraq

12/09/2019
Amman, Jordan
11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
Description: 

UNESCO and the EU strengthen their partnership with the project "Support to livelihoods through cultural heritage development" by creating short-term decent job opportunities through employment-intensive methods applied to safeguard cultural heritage in the northern districts of Jordan and Iraq.

Support to livelihoods through cultural heritage de­­ve­lop­ment in Jordan and Iraq

UNESCO and the EU strengthen their partnership with the project "Support to livelihoods through cultural heritage development" by creating short-term decent job opportunities through employment-intensive methods applied to safeguard cultural heritage in the northern districts of Jordan and Iraq.

In line with governmental priorities, the € 11 Million project will seek to engage both Jordanians, Iraqis and Syrians, including young people, in their respective communities in the preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage sites for tourism purposes in the northern districts of Jordan (Irbid and Mafraq) and Iraq (Erbil and Duhok). A Steering committee, co-coordinated by UNESCO, will provide strategic guidance and will further support this work, in partnership with relevant institutions including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) and the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA).

Supported by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU ’Madad’ Fund, the project will be coordinated by the UNESCO Office in Amman and implemented together with the UNESCO Office in Iraq and key partners over the next two years. H.E. Majd Shweikeh, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, emphasizes the importance of turning challenges to tourism into concrete opportunities.

Sustainable tourism is a key objective of this upcoming initiative. Our collective presence here today, as we gather to honor this partnership, signifies our ongoing collaboration, with a strong focus on continuity, sustainability and action

H.E. Majd Shweikeh, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities

H.E Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jordan states that "this project aims to improve self-reliance through access to decent employment opportunities for Syrians, Jordanians and Iraqis in the cultural heritage sector, through Employment Intensive schemes in two northern governorates of Jordan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). It also aims to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship development in the cultural heritage sector, unleashing its potential to boost the economy and create jobs."

On behalf of UNESCO, Ms. Costanza Farina notes that "this major EU investment celebrates UNESCO’s innovative approach to optimize cultural heritage rehabilitation as a vehicle to create job opportunities for unemployed youth. This substantiates the notion that culture can serve as a source of resilience and a vector for socio-economic development. We are extremely grateful and honored by this partnership and the trust bestowed upon UNESCO and its partners. We are also very grateful to the Department of Antiquities for the strong and longstanding collaboration on this and other cultural heritage initiatives."

Mr. Dara al Yaqoobi, Deputy Minister and Head of the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization has shared enthusiasm surrounding the robust partnerships that will serve to ensure strong outcomes. In recent years, the European Union has been an enduring strategic partner of UNESCO in Jordan and Iraq, providing generous funding and expertise to projects focused on education, culture, freedom of expression and enhancing resilience as well as providing skills and jobs to young people, and cooperation in the field of water management, for example in the ASHRI Project in Iraq.

The EU Madad Fund

The EU ‘Madad’ Fund is an innovative tool initiated by the European Union in 2014 in response to the Syria crisis. It acts as a key instrument to deliver the EU’s pledges, address resilience and stabilization needs and support refugees and host communities in Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt.

UNESCO Amman Office

Jordan joined UNESCO on June 14th, 1950 and in 1986, Amman became the regional office for Education, Science and Communications. In 1996, UNESCO Amman was designated as a Regional Office for Culture and Communication and in the year 2000, it became the National Office for Jordan.

Delegation of the EU to Jordan

The current agenda of EU-Jordan relations is spelled out in the EU-Jordan Action Plan, under the European Neighbourhood Policy. It aims to translate the Association Agreement, the legal basis of the EU-Jordan relationship, into detailed actions, and to help broaden and strengthen Euro-Jordanian relations in various fields.