On 13 April, Ambassador Oakden visited Kerak to find out more about the Jordanian host community’s efforts with Syrian refugees and open a kindergarten as part of a UK-funded Mercy Corps project.
During his visit, Ambassador Oakden met the Governor Mr Abdullah Al Khattab and local MP Nayef Allaymoun to discuss the pressures the host community is facing in the health and education spheres. He also visited a UK-funded physiotherapy centre for people with disabilities in Mu’tah, and met some of the recipients to hear more about the care they receive. He heard that the Mercy Corps centre within the Mu’tah Voluntary society building is equipped to treat visual, hearing and mobility impaired persons. The centre is also intended to serve children with autism and will provide support to the families of disabled people.
Speaking during the visit Ambassador Oakden said “It’s always humbling to see host communities triumph in the face of challenges and to share the happiness of young children who are making their first steps in education in these communities.”
The Ambassador opened a UK funded kindergarten in Khawla Bent Al Azwar school which will provide much needed educational opportunities for young children in the area. He heard that an increase in children had led to the school using its kindergarten facilities for older children. With UK-funding, Mercy Corps have built a new top floor in the existing building, which includes seven classroom – two of which will be a laboratory and will provide facilities for 150 Jordanian and Syrian female students.
Since the start of the Syria crisis, the UK has provided over $0.5 billion in support to Jordan. At the February 2016 London conference on supporting Syria and the region, the UK pledged to double this support to Jordan, making the UK the 2nd biggest bilateral supporter of Jordan. Amongst this support is UK funding for 18 projects run by Mercy Corps in different locations across the Kingdom.