View of the Jordanian capital Amman

Jordan A country on the road to reform

For King Abdullah II of Jordan, the stability of his country and the region are top priorities. For that reason he takes a mediatory role and is open to reform, in recent years replacing the government several times in the face of continuing criticism of its policies.

In early 2011, the wave of protests during what became known as the Arab Spring also spread to Jordan. Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated against high unemployment, rising prices and corruption, and demanded more political and social rights. Protesters did not, however, demand the overthrow of the regime. The king is recognised by all groups within society.

In response to the protests, King Abdullah introduced constitutional reforms in 2011 and granted parliament more powers. The most recent parliamentary elections were held in September 2016.

Renewed protests

Early June 2018 saw a renewed wave of protests in reaction to the government's austerity policies and escalating living costs. Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki resigned his post and was succeeded by Omar Razzaz. Razzaz now faces the difficult task of leading the country out of its current economic crisis while at the same time avoiding social unrest.

The civil war in neighbouring Syria, in particular, is presenting great challenges to Jordan. With its population of 9.5 million, Jordan has already taken in more than 670,000 Syrian refugees, according to United Nations statistics (as at October 2018). Many Jordanian communities are struggling to provide adequate water, energy, health services and education.

Cooperation with Germany

Political relations between Jordan and Germany are close and amicable. Jordan is one of the partner countries that Germany supports as part of thematic and regional programmes. Cooperation is focused on the priority areas of water, education, technical and vocational education and training and support for refugees and their host communities.

Germany is the second largest donor to the country, after the United States. In 2018, the BMZ provided more than 290 million euros.

Shepherd in Jordan

Supporting modernisation Internal link

The constitution of 1952 established Jordan as a constitutional monarchy. King Abdullah II has been head of state since 1999 and has extensive powers. He is endeavouring to systematically modernise his country so as to enable it to take on a leading role in the region.

Trainees in a vocational training centre in Jordan

High levels of youth unemployment and poor prospects Internal link

Jordan's economy is weak. The country has few mineral and other natural resources and only very limited agricultural land.

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

Open arms policy Internal link

Despite its difficult geographical position in a crisis-torn region, Jordan has pursued an open arms policy. The influx of refugees is threatening to destabilise the country.

German development cooperation with Jordan

Germany is Jordan’s second largest bilateral donor, after the United States. Since 2012, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has provided almost 2.5 billion euros to cushion the impact of the Syria crisis on the country. In 2019, the BMZ made a record pledge of 729.4 million euros. Of this amount, 582 million euros will be allocated to Financial Cooperation, 47.4 million euros to Technical Cooperation, and 100 million euros to BMZ Special Initiatives and Transition Assistance. Most of the funds are provided in the form of low-interest loans.

Development cooperation between Germany and Jordan is concentrated on the following priority areas:

  • water
  • education and vocational training/job creation.

Since 2012, German activities have also focused on supporting Syrian refugees and the Jordanian communities that are hosting large numbers of them.

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

Promoting sustainable water management Internal link

Jordan is one of the most water-poor countries in the world. The aim of the German-Jordanian water programme is to make water management more efficient and sustainable.

Pupils at a school in As-Salt

Education for all Internal link

In 2015, Germany and Jordan agreed to add a second priority area to their development cooperation: education/training and job creation.

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

Improving infrastructure, creating jobs Internal link

In reaction to the crisis in Syria, the German Development Ministry has considerably increased support for Jordan.