Kick off Meeting of a joint Catalan initiative to address the prolonged negative consequences of the refugee crisis on solid waste management and municipal services

Last 13th March MedCities Director and experts from MedCities KTC AlFayhaa visited officials and key stakeholders and the Jordanian cities of Irbid and Mafraq to present, discuss and formally launch a technical assistance project supported by Catalan Partners.

Jordan faces presently a serious environmental crisis, aggravated by the reception of a large number of refugees escaping the war in Syria. According to UNHCR, 47% of the 657.629 registered Syrian refugees that reside in Jordan are hosted by the Northern Governorates, which consist of the Mafraq Governorate (157.951), Irbid Governorate (135.799), Ajlun (7.154) and Jerash (9.411). Generation and uncontrolled dumping of solid waste, together with the lack of a proper management system, are exposing the territory to worrying environmental pollution, which has showed the urgent need for local administrations to take action.

The current technical assistance project aims to contribute to the improvement of local governments capacities in the field of public waste management and to assess the role of local governments in the waste management services and as strategic actors in international development cooperation. It will identify and analysis the main needs and challenges in the complete lifecycle management of waste from Irbid –MedCities member city – and Mafraq, two Jordan greater municipalities who have been most affected by the increase in population as a result of the arrival of Syrian refugees. It will further identify waste management actions with the greatest financing needs which could be supported by further Catalan cooperation.

This initiative is part of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) 2017-2019 Cooperation Master plan and is a joint intervention of AMB and the Catalan Fund for Cooperation and Development (FCCD) with the support of MedCities.