Minister Milling reiterated the importance of the UK-Jordan strategic partnership and the UK’s commitment to sustaining our cooperation across diplomatic, development, economic and security files.
The Minister met Jordanian Foreign Minister, HE Ayman Safadi, to discuss the UK’s diplomatic partnership and our cooperation on a number of regional issues. The Minister expressed her appreciation for Jordan’s positive and constructive role as a force for peace in the region.
Minister Milling thanked Jordan for its generosity in hosting Syrian and other refugees from conflicts in the region.
The Minister visited Al Azraq refugee camp to see first-hand UK-funded humanitarian programmes in support of Syrian refugees and spoke to representatives from UN agencies and the Syrian Refugees Affairs Directorate.
She announced £30 million in new UK Aid programme funding to support learning recovery for 1.8 million host community and refugee children impacted by almost 2 years of continuous school closures. This includes support for 95,000 vulnerable girls and 1,500 children with disabilities to access education. This also underpins the UK’s commitment for every girl to receive 12 years of quality education.
The Minister saw a World Food Programme-contracted supermarket, where refugees can exchange food vouchers to buy food and met beneficiary households to hear directly about the situation in the camp, the challenges they face and their hopes for the future.
During her meeting with HE Dr Wajih Owais, Minister of Education, Minister Milling witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the British Council and the Ministry of Education in Jordan. This is the first of its kind which will bring UK expertise to support the quality of education in Jordan, through the enhancement of English language teaching nationwide to empower young Jordanians to reach their full potential.
At a joint signing ceremony with H.E Nasser Shraideh, Minister Of Planning And International Affairs, Minister Milling signed a new £65 million Social Protection programme as part of ongoing UK support to the government of Jordan to deliver on the National Social Protection Strategy. This aims to improve services and payments to the poorest and most vulnerable, helping Jordan recover from COVID-19.
Minister Milling said:
The UK is committed to providing humanitarian support to refugees in Jordan. We continue to fund cash assistance for refugees to meet their basic needs (including shelter and food), and the provision of protection services to children and people at risk. Jordan is showing huge generosity in hosting refugees and it is right that the international community continues to play its part in supporting Jordan.
During the visit, Minister Milling also met the Minister of Finance and welcomed Jordan’s commitment to taking forward vital economic reforms. The Minister commended the launch of the Economic Modernization Vision 2033, underlined the importance of gender-inclusive and sustainable growth and highlighted the UK’s commitment to continue follow through on the 2019 London Initiative to support economic growth and job creation in Jordan.
Minister Milling also met a group of inspiring Jordanian women active in political life, together with Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women, HE Wafa Beni Mustafa. She discussed how to ensure inclusion and greater involvement of women in all aspects of the political process as well as in the economy – no society can reach its potential without the full participation of the female half of its population.
The Minister also congratulated Classic Fashion Apparel Industry, on concluding the first UK Export Finance backed deal in Jordan. She welcomed the initiative which will support the opening of a new apparel and textiles factory in Aqaba, creating thousands of jobs in Jordan.
Minister Milling concluded:
I was delighted to make my first visit to Jordan as Minister. Last year we celebrated 100 years of friendship between our countries and the UK is fully committed to sustaining and developing our unique strategic partnership into its second century.
I expressed my gratitude for the Kingdom’s extraordinary and generous role in supporting refugees from regional conflicts and announced 2 major new UK-funded programmes totalling £95 million, designed to support both vulnerable Jordanians and refugees.
I was also delighted to meet Jordanian ministerial counterparts to discuss our diplomatic cooperation on regional issues and the UK’s support for Jordan’s crucial economic and political modernisation programmes.