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    30-May-2019

Social protection strategy ‘designed to better regulate anti-poverty efforts’

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Several ministers on Wednesday pledged to implement the 2019-2025 Social Protection Strategy and Poverty Alleviation (SPSPA) plan by initiating programmes that would protect the impoverished and ensure their dignity.
 
The pledges were made during the official launching ceremony, inaugurated by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, at the Royal Cultural Centre on Wednesday.
 
The strategy aims at supporting the impoverished and protecting other social classes from slipping into poverty, according to government officials.
 
Speaking at a panel comprised of several ministers, Minister of Social Development Basma Ishaqat said she was hopeful that the strategy would encompass “scattered efforts over the years to fight poverty, which created a gap”.
 
“We started by collecting data from over 50 institutions to ensure that expenses are being put in the right place,” Ishaqat said.
 
She added that the ultimate goal for the ministry is to “protect the marginalised groups and the underprivileged and ensure they get the best services and life necessities”.
 
Minister of Labour Nidal Bataineh said the aim of his ministry is to increase job opportunities for Jordanians in the public and private sectors.
 
“We are tracking Jordanians who are refusing offered jobs, and when they repeatedly refuse certain jobs offered to them, we will look for others who are really serious and ready to assume any job that is offered to them,” Bataineh said.
 
The labour minister stressed that the priority of employment will “always be for Jordanian men and women”.
 
Meanwhile, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Walid Maani pointed out that “good and quality education is the only means to achieve renaissance”.
 
He announced that one of the strategy’s first steps is to focus on improving some of the first and fourth grade school textbooks.
 
“We will be introducing new math and science books for first and fourth grades, which will include new advanced content,” Maani said.
 
Maani added that the government also provided financial support by providing unconditional scholarships for students for the amount of JD18 million “and will continue to provide financial support with minimal interest for students in need”.
 
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Environment Ibrahim Shahahdeh said the focus, based on the strategy, will be to protect national agriculture and its products.
 
“We also strive to ensure that these agricultural products are handled by Jordanians so that we have more and more Jordanians enrolled in this field of work,” Shahahdeh said.
 
Minster of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal elaborated on the role of the religious institutions in providing financial services to the needy as well as religious guidance.
 
“The ministry will focus on helping the poor and the orphans, while at the same time focusing on the true values and virtues of the religion to ensure that people can depend on themselves and focus on their behaviours,” Abul Bassal said.
 
Minister of Health Saad Jaber concluded the panel session by saying that he was hopeful the strategy would lead to free insurance for all Jordanians by the year 2030.
 
“Over 70 per cent of Jordanians enjoy free healthcare, but our ultimate goal is to have universal health coverage for all Jordanians by the year 2030,” Jaber said.
 
 

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