Amman 13 August 2020 – A workshop held in the Jordanian capital last month discussed ways to improve access to reliable services and socio-economic opportunities for migrants and displaced populations in urban settlements.

The workshop, organized by UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Infrastructure in Migration Contexts (UPIMC) Programme, brought together experts and stakeholders from the Jordanian Government and various UN partners. The workshop was funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

“The workshop aims at engaging key stakeholders to ensure the holistic understanding of the urban challenges and opportunities in regard to the influx of refugees in urban areas,” said Lubna Shaheen, Senior Urban Programme Officer at UN-Habitat Jordan.

“This workshop is considered important for all parties involved as it creates space for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise at multiple levels,” she added.

For her part, Nuha Quteish, Executive Director of Planning at Greater Amman Municipality, said, the Programme, which aims to define prioritized infrastructure investments and linkages to financing “will have a clear impact on Amman’s ability as a city to provide quality urban services to local communities and refugees alike, as service provision across all Jordanian cities is equally distributed to its population despite their nationality or legal status.”

Explaining the goals of the UPIMC programme, the UN-Habitat team gave a presentation on the relevance of spatial data usage in finding urban development solutions situation and tackling challenges related to the influx of refugees in Amman and Irbid, in northern Jordan and close to the Syrian border.

UNHCR representatives, meanwhile, gave a presentation on urban vulnerability in Amman and Irbid, detailing the UN agency’s efforts to enhance refugees’ and vulnerable communities' economic inclusion and access to livelihood opportunities. 

As part of the workshop, stakeholders worked in collaborative groups to identify and map challenges within the selected cities under three main themes: urban development; infrastructure; refugee integration in Amman and Irbid, as well as identifying key locations and sectoral focuses that should be examined within the urban profile.