View of the Jordanian capital Amman

Jordan Important partner in a highly fragile region

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan plays a key political role in the Middle East. As the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, Jordan fosters interfaith dialogue and is working to achieve a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. In the midst of a crisis-torn region, Jordan is a major host country for refugees, doing enormous work to support them. Germany is assisting Jordan in providing services for refugees and host communities and in implementing its domestic reform agenda.

Jordan is facing major domestic challenges. It is a country with few natural resources and extreme water scarcity, which is exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. The area of agricultural land is limited and the country's industrial sector is not very developed. As a result, many people work in the informal sector and unemployment is high.

Nearly half of Jordan's people are refugees or descendants of refugees. Several million people from Palestine, Iraq and Syria, but also from Yemen, Sudan and Somalia have found refuge in Jordan. As its resources are limited, Jordan requires support from the international community to provide services for the refugees.

In the past few years, Jordan has adopted comprehensive reform objectives in order to provide better opportunities for its population, which has grown significantly. The King and the government have decided to modernise the economy and foster employment and economic empowerment, especially for women and young people. They are also planning to make the political system more democratic and improve the performance and citizen responsiveness of government authorities.

Jordan has also adopted ambitious targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In particular, it wants to ensure that water, as a vital resource, can be supplied on a long-term basis.

In the current Human Development Index (HDI), Jordan ranks 102nd out of the 191 countries listed.

German development cooperation with Jordan

Jordan and Germany have been engaged in development cooperation since 1959. Since that time, the country's population has grown from about 800,000 to over 11 million as a result of the influx of refugees and high birth rates. The two countries' cooperation is geared towards fostering economic development and employment, creating opportunities for refugees and adapting the water and wastewater sector to the consequences of climate change.

Germany has been assisting Jordan in implementing its reform agenda in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. Government negotiations are held every two years. At the most recent negotiations in October 2022, Germany committed a total of 413.9 million euros for development cooperation in 2022 and 2023.

Bilateral development cooperation focuses on the following core areas:

  • Peaceful and inclusive societies
    Areas of intervention: displacement and migration, good governance
  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment
    Areas of intervention: technical and vocational education and training, private sector and financial sector development
  • Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth
    Area of intervention: water

The next government negotiations with Jordan are planned for 2024.

Cash-for-work programme: construction and repair of roads and drainage systems in Jordan

Core area “Peaceful and inclusive societies” Supporting refugees and host communities, filling the administrative reform with life Internal link

Even though Jordan is facing enormous economic and social challenges domestically, it is undertaking tremendous efforts to host a large number of refugees from the region. The German Development Ministry (BMZ) assists refugees and host communities and supports the implementation of the ongoing administrative reform.

Trainees in a vocational training centre in Jordan

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Creating economic opportunities for young people and women Internal link

Practice-oriented vocational education programmes are needed in order to reduce the high level of unemployment in Jordan, which is affecting young people and women in particular, and at the same time address the skills shortage. Vocational education needs to give people the knowledge and skills that are in particularly high demand in the labour market. To that end, the players involved in development cooperation are working closely with the private sector and with the Jordanian government.

Water meter being installed during the laying of new drinking water pipes in the town of Mafraq, Jordan

Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth” Significant reform awareness in the water sector Internal link

Extreme water scarcity is a major development constraint in Jordan. Advancing climate change, high population growth and economic development are exacerbating the water crisis. The BMZ is assisting Jordan in extracting and using this scarce resource sustainably.

Current situation

As at: 26/10/2023