The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), with funding from Global Affairs Canada, has launched a $20.7-million five-year initiative to assist municipalities in Jordan struggling to manage the influx of displaced Syrians.
This initiative will mobilize Canadian municipal leaders and practitioners to provide peer-to-peer technical assistance to communities in central and southern Jordan. Working closely with Jordan's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and other strategic partners, assistance will focus on strengthening leadership, administrative capacity and citizen engagement in selected municipalities, as well as improving their solid waste management services.
"Jordan's municipalities have shown great compassion in supporting men, women and children fleeing a horrific situation. But as the crisis drags on, they are struggling to manage growing demands for water, sanitation, health services, education and employment," said FCM President Clark Somerville. "With strong leadership from our federal government, Canada's municipalities have already welcomed many Syrian refugees to our communities, and now we're ready to help our Jordanian counterparts confront the next phase of this crisis."
The Government of Jordan estimates that 83 per cent of the approximately 1.4 million displaced Syrians in that country are being housed in its cities, towns and villages, rather than emergency camps. This has placed extraordinary pressure on municipal institutions and their services. Many municipalities, for example, have seen the volume of solid waste double, which is putting a strain on existing equipment and expertise.
"The dramatic increase in population has placed extraordinary pressures on municipal services in Jordan, said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. ''With the experience, tools and knowledge from FCM, we will help alleviate this burden. Canada's municipalities were among the first to open their hearts and homes to Syrian refugees, and I look forward to this continued partnership."
FCM is the national voice of municipal government in Canada. Its international programs are undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.