UNOPS

20/05/2015

IN PICTURES: UNOPS support to the Government of Jordan highlighted during joint visit of the Executive Boards

Delegates from the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP visited UNOPS projects in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps as part of their first Joint Field Visit (JFV) to Jordan, from 24 April to 2 May 2015.

The visit gave Executive Board members an opportunity to see first-hand how the UN is supporting the Government of Jordan in addressing humanitarian and development priorities. This year's visit was successfully coordinated by UNOPS, in close collaboration with the other five participating agencies, as well as the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

As part of the visit, delegates were briefed on the UN response to the Syrian refugee crisis and visited various projects, including UNOPS projects, in both Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps, as well as in communities hosting Syrian refugees. Jordan currently counts over 620,000 registered Syrian refugees, of which over 85% live in host communities.

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In Za'atari camp (pictured below), delegates were briefed by representatives from the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD) at the Civil Defence Centre, which was built and equipped by UNOPS, on behalf of the Government of Japan.

"The Joint Field Visit of the Executive Boards was an excellent opportunity for UNOPS Hub in Amman to showcase its support to the Government of Jordan and its sister UN agencies in responding to the Syrian Crisis, especially in terms of our close partnership with the SRAD and our capacities to deliver large-scale, timely and innovative solutions in our mandated areas –infrastructure, procurement and project management," stated Ms. Bana Kaloti, Director of UNOPS Sub-Regional Operational Hub in Amman.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

As the central hub for emergency response services in the camp, the centre (pictured below) has enabled Jordanian authorities to ensure better safety and security conditions for refugees and humanitarian actors alike, enabling undisrupted access to vital services in the camp.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

The visit also included a tour of the SRAD joint security facilities in Azraq camp (pictured below), which now hosts over 17,000 Syrian refugees. Thursday, 30 April 2015 marked one year since the camp opened.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

In Azraq, UNOPS worked hand-in-hand with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and the SRAD, to build and equip security facilities, including the Joint Operations Centre (pictured below), community police stations, offices, accommodation blocks, vehicle shelters and other facilities, to help the Jordanian government maintain law-and-order in the camp, while safeguarding the rights and dignity of all Syrian refugees.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

Social, cultural and environmental considerations were incorporated throughout the project. One of these considerations included the provision of power, since the camp is currently not connected to the electricity grid, due to its remote desert location. In response, UNOPS equipped all of the constructed facilities with solar panels (pictured below), to provide electricity and lighting 24 hours a day.

The solar panels provide a sustainable source of power and eliminate reliance on carbon-emitting generators, in what is one of the largest off-grid solar panel systems ever installed in Jordan. This also exemplifies UNOPS commitment to supporting partners in delivering environmentally sustainable projects around the world.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

The facilities also include community police stations such as the one pictured below, which allow refugees to liaise directly with the SRAD. During the JFV, delegates had the opportunity to meet community members and listen to their concerns.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

The accommodation blocks include separate facilities for female police officers such as the officer pictured below, who provide a critical link for addressing concerns from female refugees living in the camp.

Photo: UNOPS/ Alison Cassells

In addition to field visits, the JFV included briefings on the current situation in Jordan, including the UN response to the Syrian refugee crisis, meetings with representatives from the Government of Jordan, the UN Country and Humanitarian Teams, and major donors, as well as thematic discussions with representatives from UN agencies, the Government, international and national non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society.

UNOPS thematic discussion focused on innovative solutions to water and energy scarcity in Jordan, highlighting the country's escalating energy and water needs and the ways in which innovative technologies can reduce the burden on the environment, mitigate the effects of climate change, and position Jordan as a regional leader in the energy and water sectors. The panel was facilitated by the Senior Coordinator of the Jordan Response Platform for the Syria Crisis, Dr. Walid Abed Rabboh, and included the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Ibrahim Saif, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Eng. Basem Telfah, and UNOPS Regional Infrastructure Lead, Ms. Muna Al-Banna (pictured below).

 Photo: UNOPS/ Christiana Kallon

"The discussion provided an opportunity for UNOPS, the Government and other stakeholders to engage in a substantive exchange with delegates from Member States, including the ways in which Member States can continue to support these vital sectors," explained Ms. Al-Banna (pictured at right below).

 Photo: UNOPS/ Christiana Kallon