(MENAFN - Jordan Times) ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP — Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove on Thursday announced the provision of 12.5 million Australian dollars (around JD7 million) in humanitarian aid for Jordan over the next three years, during an official visit to Zaatari refugee camp where Canberra's partnerships with UN Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) were launched.
'The Australian aid announced today will help make a difference in the lives of many here in Jordan,' said Cosgrove during the official visit.
'Our partnerships with WFP and UN Women will reach beyond the camp to assist refugees and their host communities in urban areas,' the governor continued, expressing 'Australia is pleased to be supporting the Government of Jordan's efforts in meeting the needs of all vulnerable people in the Kingdom.'
The funding will provide emergency nutrition assistance, protection services and livelihood support for both Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians with a focus on women and children, according to a press release by UN Women Jordan.
The Australian government will also support the WFP through the provision of general food assistance by e-vouchers to around 135,300 refugees in both camps and host communities during the 2017-2019 period.
Furthermore, the funding will support the UN Women's Oasis in Zaatari and Azraq camps, which seek to address the needs of Syrian refugees through livelihood opportunities while building their skills for longer term employment, the press release stated.
Additionally, the aid will support the creation of a business incubator to be established in the oasis to support refugee women in the application of skills learned in cash-for-work opportunities to establish their own micro-businesses in their communities.
During his visit, the governor toured the WFP-run Healthy Kitchen in the camp, where he witnessed the preparation of nutritious meals for students at the camp's schools.
Cosgrove later participated in the distribution of food at a primary school for girls in the camp, where he spoke to the students about the importance of nutrition awareness and healthy eating habits.
The visit concluded with a tour to the Women and Girls Oasis operated by UN Women, where the governor met with several Syrian women engaged with cash-for-work production of baby kits given to new mothers in the camp's hospitals.
Representative of UN Women to Jordan Ziad Sheikh thanked Cosgrove for his visit, noting 'the importance of this direct exchange with the women who benefitted from this partnership'.
'The time and nature of the support we are receiving shows Australia's recognition of the situation of the region, and its impact on women and girls,' Sheikh continued.
The representative also commended the work of the WFP and the Healthy Kitchen, noting that they provide 'not only nutrition, but also an employment opportunity for refugee women'.
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