The Humanitarian Relief Coordination Unit
The Humanitarian Relief Coordination Unit seeks donations and support from the International Community, Humanitarian Agencies, and UN Agencies to take their responsibility in shouldering the burdens resulted from hosting Iraqis and Syrians in compliance with the National General Policy, in addition to the coordination with the Syrian Refugees Camps Department to deliver the Arab and international aids targeting the refugees residing in the Camps. Thus, providing logistic support, as well as coordinating with the line ministries to demonstrate the impact of refugees on the services borne by the Government.
The Responsibilities of the Humanitarian Relief Coordination Unit:
- Conducting and updating the Jordan’s Appeal/ Jordan Response Plan to seek the International Community’s support.
- Conducting the impact study of Syrians and Iraqis presence on the services sectors, as well as the impact on the general budget with coordination with the line ministries.
- Working as Secretariat for the Coordination Committee that is appointed to follow up the projects submitted by the donors, UN agencies, and NGOs targeting Syrians and Iraqis.
- Reviewing the protocols and the agreements presented by the donors and following up the implementation process.
- Monitoring the NGOs’ activities, in addition to reviewing the action plans of the humanitarian projects that are submitted to make sure that they are compatible with the national General Policy.
- Following up and coordinating the programs funded by the UN agencies and international entities that aim to build the capacity of Iraqis.
- Following up the implementation process, as well as the decisions taken by the Special Tenders Committee appointed to take a decision for the projects presented to the Government.
- Coordinating meetings with the donors and UN agencies to seek support and donations.
- Participating in the sectorial work groups such as (education, health, and others), with UN agencies.
- Reviewing the reports that come through the international community and commenting on them.
- Preparing a database for projects implemented by the NGOs, as well as conducting progress reports.
- Receiving complaints and inquiries via hot-line.
- Conducting field visits to oversee the implementation process and preparing the reports.
- Conducting impact reports of Syrian and Iraqis residing in the Kingdom, in coordination with the line ministries and stakeholders.
Iraqis in Jordan
Jordan considers Iraqis as temporary guests. Their voluntary return depends on the security situation in Iraq. No deportation will be exercised on them the Government of Jordan has announced a number of measures to ease the burden and improve the living conditions of Iraqis in Jordan. These decisions can be listed as follows:
- Allowing Iraqi students to register at schools: The Government of Jordan has taken the decision to allow all Iraqi students to register in Jordanian public schools regardless of their legal status. This has resulted in around 24 thousand students registering in our school system during 2007-2008. However, this number has increased during (2008-2009) reaching 26,890, as registration will continue to offer education to all Iraqi students residing in Jordan especially that more than 31 thousand students (Jordanians and non-Jordanians) moved from the private schools to the public schools. Moreover, the Ministry of Education is holding entry level exams for students who were interrupted from their education and may not have the necessary documentation to prove their education level. In addition, Iraqi students are able to take advantage of the available illiteracy, health care and nutrition programs on an equal footing with Jordanian students, in addition to having access to vocational education.
- Receiving Iraqi patients in public hospitals and healthcare centers: The Government of Jordan has reduced charges for Iraqi patients across the Kingdom, treating them as uninsured Jordanians, who receive subsidized health care treatment in primary health care centers. The Government has also allowed patients referred by International Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations to receive treatment in public hospitals at par with Jordanians.
- Waving residency fines: The Government of Jordan has issued on 13 February 2008 a 100% waver to Iraqi residents who wish to leave the country, and a 50% waver to Iraqi residents who wish to stay in Jordan. It is estimated that this cost the Government around US$273 million, with approximately 370,000 Iraqis having overstayed their residency for periods of up to two years.
- Approve the return of Iraqis after they exit the borders to Iraq in conformity with the law of Residence and Foreign Affairs number (24) for the year 1973, and who have overstayed their legal residence. Iraqis should submit a request to the Ministry of the Interior to return to Jordan before leaving to obtain the necessary visa and exemption in compliance with the provisions of Article (34/b) of the Residence Act and Alien Affairs referred to above.
Jordan’s Efforts in the Reconstruction of Iraq
In line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1483 and 1151, Jordan has repeatedly expressed its readiness to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq to ensure the presence of the necessary conditions for attaining sustainable development, as well as to advance the current efforts aimed at restoring and establishing strong national and local institutions for a representative government.
Due to the geographic proximity and, more importantly, to the deep economic and social ties that Jordan has built over the last decade with Iraq, Jordan maintains a unique position that allows it to act as an enabler and facilitator for all international initiatives that address the reconstruction and development challenges in Iraq.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Iraq in March 2003, the Government of Jordan (GOJ) sought to address the immediate and medium-term priority reconstruction needs of Iraqi sectors in a manner that will ensure that the assistance offered is tailored to the needs and requirements of Iraqi ministries and institutions. The GOJ has been keen to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, including the delivery of medical and food supplies, setting-up of a field hospital in Fallujah, conducting a child vaccination campaign, as well as facilitating the access of UN agencies and donor countries for humanitarian interventions. Jordan's efforts at ensuring a safe humanitarian corridor and smooth flow of goods have registered a new world record in the delivery of urgently needed food supplies (129,000 tons per day in 2003) as extensive efforts have been exerted to ensure that the international community was provided with the required logistical support in its humanitarian efforts.
The latest Activities:
Fourth Donor Committee Meeting of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) was held in the Dead Sea on 18-19/2005.
a technical meeting was held at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on 28/8/2005 in order to arrange for the Higher Committee and the Sectorial Committees meetings.
A joint cooperation agreement was signed on 11 September 2004 between the Amman and the Baghdad Chambers of Commerce in order to boost Jordanian-Iraqi economic relations. Under this agreement, both sides work towards the following:
Establishment of a free trade zone (Al-Karamah) between the two countries on December 27, 2004.
Promote joint commercial and industrial exchange.
Enhance the current role of Jordanian companies in the development of Iraq's economy.
Increase the level of technical cooperation and exchange of expertise between the two countries.
In line with His Majesty King Abdullah's directions to provide necessary assistance to the Iraqis, including the rehabilitation of their security forces, the Government of Jordan endorsed on October 14, 2003 the agreement with the CPA to start a two-year training course for 32,000 members of the Iraqi police force at the country's various police academies. The courses started in December 2003, with each course lasting 8 weeks offering training to 1,500 Iraqis at a time and over a period of 2 years.
A strategic partnership agreement was signed between Jordan’s Exports and Finance Bank and the National Bank of Iraq by which Jordan’s Exports and Finance Bank acquired 49% of National Bank of Iraq’s paid up capital. The deal amounted to US$8.5 million and is considered to be the first in the history of Iraqi banks.
The Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (I-ACCI) opened its offices in Amman to serve its growing members in Jordan and promote the business opportunities in Iraq.
In December 2003, the GOJ approved the request presented by the World Bank for the establishment of an Interim Office for its operations in Iraq. The Interim Office is, furthermore, set to house the Iraq Country Teams of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Jordan hosted the Rebuild Iraq 2005 Exhibition that took place in 4-7 April. More than nine hundred International and Jordanian companies participated in this event in order to establish joint ventures and start business with Iraqi companies to catalyze the Iraqi private sector which can play a pivotal role in the reconstruction of Iraq..
Al-Karama Free Zone (KFZ)
The Free Zone is located in Al-Mafraq Governorate, about (360) Km east Amman, on an area of (10000) dunums along the Jordanian –Iraqi Borders. The Zone is divided as follows:
(2000) dunums were allocated to establish a public free zone.
(8000) dunums were allocated to establish a multi-purposes private free zone thereon.
A Sub-agreement was signed between the Government of Jordan and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman (UNHCR) to provide social services for Iraqi refugees in Jordan.
The Mechanism for Cooperation between Jordan and Iraq
The Higher Committee is co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Iraq and Jordan, and includes in its membership the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and International Cooperation. The Prime Ministers of Jordan and Iraq agreed to establish a mechanism for continued cooperation between the two countries.
The Sectorial Committees chaired by the related ministers, and comprised of experts, to enhance cooperation and coordination on several levels. The sectorial committees include the following:
- Trade Committee
- Transportation Committee
- Energy Committee
- Health Committee
- Labor and Training
- Education and Academic Research
- Military and Security
- Fiscal and Monetary Cooperation
- Communication and Information Technology
- Investment Promotion
The Coordination Office for the Reconstruction of Iraq at the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation coordinates between the above stated Secretariats.
Cooperation between the Government of Jordan and the Government of Japan in conducting training programs for Iraqi Personnel
Based upon the Japanese Government pledges made during the Donor’s meeting on the Reconstruction of Iraq held in October 2003 in Madrid, an agreement was signed between the Government of Jordan (GOJ), represented by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC), the Japanese Embassy in Amman and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the provision of training programs for Iraqi personnel through the Third Country Training Program funded by the Japanese government and executed in Jordan. These trainings included courses in the power sector, statistics, water resources management, cultural heritage, solid waste management, education, and water supply and sewage.
The idea of establishing Al-Karameh Free Trade Zone came after extensive studies and deep analysis of actual status of the Jordanian economy that is witnessing a great prosperity due to political, security, economical and social stability and the excellent reputation gained internationally. Jordan, which shares borders with six Middle East countries, forms an important transit center for the region. . Furthermore, Jordan’s long experience and expertise in serving as a transit center for the region, coupled with its strategic location, highly qualify it to play a pivotal role in promoting the development and integration of regional cooperation. Sharing borders with Iraq adding to the above privileges gave Al-Karameh Free Trade Zone the advantage to act as a leading participant in the reconstruction of Iraq in all fields since it will form an advanced physical location to Iraq.
- Unique and Strategic Location.
- Stable Political Environment.
- Free Market Oriented Economy.
- Access to Major International Markets.
- Qualified and Competitive Human Resources.
- World Class Infrastructure and Communications.
- Attractive Investment Climate.
- The Free Zone is located in Al-Mafraq Governorate, about (360) Km east of Amman, on an area of (10000) dunums along the Jordanian –Iraqi Borders. The Zone is divided as follows:
- (2000) dunums were allocated to establish a public free zone.
- (8000) dunums were allocated to establish a multi-purposes private free zone thereon.
- Due to the great demand for investment in Jordan by many international companies especially the ones who will take part in the reconstruction of Iraq, it is expected that this location will be the main gateway to Iraq from the outside world.
Services and Facilities Provided in the Zone
- Necessary facilities, services and infrastructure such as electricity, water, modern telecommunication nets, in addition to modern nets of internal roads.
- Construction of areas and necessary warehouses to meet the investor's requirements.
- Applying one-window service for investment applications to facilitate decision-making.
- Issuing certificates of origin (Free Zones) for industrial products produced inside the free zone, which have local inputs of less than (40%).
- Banking services, insurance and clearance companies will be available inside the free zone.
Companies established in free zones enjoy the following exemptions and benefits:
- Exemption of project’s profits from income taxes for goods exported outside the Kingdom as well as transit trade, in addition to profits accruing from selling or transferring of goods inside the borders of the free zones. Profits accruing from goods when placed for domestic market shall be excluded from such exemptions.
- Exempting the salaries and allowances of non-Jordanian employees working in projects established in the free zone from income and social service taxes.
- Exempting imported goods or exported to parties other than domestic market from import fees, custom duties and all taxes and fees accrued thereon except services and rent charges.
- Exempting buildings and real estate constructions built in the free zones from the licensing fees as well as from buildings and land taxes.
- Permitting the transfer of the capital invested in the free zone and the profits generated there from outside the Kingdom in accordance with the regulations in force therein.
- Exempting the products of the industrial projects established in the free zone, upon placing them for consumption in the domestic market from customs duties within the extent of the value of materials, costs and local expenditures included in their manufacturing provided that the value is estimated by a committee chaired by the Director General(Jordanian free zones corporation) or his Deputy, and a representative from each of the Ministry of Industry & Trade and the Ministry of Finance/Customs, appointed by the competent Minister.
- The Zone's industrial projects enjoy 10% exemption of the rent of lands and installations' charges leased for this purpose.
- Adjacent to Iraqi borders
- Low rents by 38% from the rest of other free zones reaching (JD800).
- 24-hour work including holidays.
- Adoption of Back to Back procedure for only (JD30), without opening a customs declaration or deposit (transit only).
- Exemption of trucks loading from Al Karamah Free Zone to Iraq from over load fines.
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