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Japan grants UN-Habitat over $978k to support Amman’s vulnerable communities against flash floods


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Japanese government has granted the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) $978,709 to support  the resilience of vulnerable Jordanian communities and refugees in Amman against flash floods.
According to a joint statement from UN-Habitat and the Japanese embassy, flash floods have become a serious problem in Jordan due to rapid unplanned urbanisation, insufficient capacity of drainage systems and climate change ramifications. In 2018, flash floods caused loss of lives and damage to private properties and urban infrastructure, particularly in Amman.
According to the flood hazard map for Jordan in June 2019, the districts of Amman are among the most vulnerable to flash floods and epidemics due to the high population and concentration of Syrian refugees, which exercise pressure on social services and infrastructure for water and sanitation and drainage, the statement said.
In order to tackle these urgent risks, UN-Habitat Jordan, in collaboration with the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) started a project to strengthen social stability and the resilience of vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian communities in Amman against flash floods.
“[Japan’s] contribution will indirectly benefit more than 35,000 inhabitants in downtown Amman by building and rehabilitating stormwater drainage facilities using environmental-friendly construction technologies,” UN-Habitat National Programme Coordinator Deema Abu Thiab said in the statement.
The project will build the capacities of GAM staff and residents of Amman through training, awareness-raising campaigns to better plan and prepare for future flash floods and vocational training opportunities on appropriate flood resistance construction technologies.
Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi also stated: “Japan appreciates that Greater Amman Municipality received so many refugees from Syria and Palestine, and we have so far cooperated with GAM for a community development programme, ‘Heart of Amman’, with UNDP, which will increase socio-economic self-reliance and improve livelihoods as well as revitalise local communities in downtown Amman.”
“We also value the important role of UN-Habitat and their efforts to address issues caused by rapid urbanisation and mitigate the negative impacts of global climate change,” he said.
“I have personally experienced three winters in Amman and have learned that heavy rainfall always causes flash floods in downtown Amman and many other places in Jordan and is one of the growing challenges for the Jordanian population. Therefore, we decided to finance this project, which provides a comprehensive and integrated response through capacity building on urban planning management and standards of constructions as well as restoration of necessary infrastructures,” he concluded.

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