Jordan has ambitious development plans
The Jordanian Cabinet has approved a set of recommendations presented by the Economic and Social Council (ESC) that seek to achieve social and economic development in Qatraneh District, 100km south of Amman.
In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, the ESC said that the recommendations were developed after conducting a study on the social and economic needs of area residents.
The field study, carried out between March and April this year, was based on economic and social indicators from several official sources (Department of Statistics, Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation) and the data was collected and verified during visits to Qatraneh, according to the council.
The ESC recommendations covered a several topics, from economic and investment issues to social and public services.
Proposals to improve the local economy included establishing a partnership between the public sector and NGOs to regulate the contribution of companies in the development of the local community.
In the social sector, the study recommended the establishment of directorates to provide social and psychological counselling services as well as a maternity centre.
The report reviewed the education sector and recommended the establishment of a centre to train teachers in the southern region.
The local environment also came under scrutiny, with the council proposing an office to deal with environmental problems.
The study said the rehabilitation of the Sultani and Qatraneh dams would benefit the agricultural sector.
Despite the fact that the region is considered rich with natural resources, it suffers from tough economic and social conditions and is classified as one of the Kingdom's poverty pockets, with an unemployment rate of 37.9 per cent, according to the ESC website.
The district recently witnessed protests by the Hajaya tribes claiming land privileges, which resulted in the temporary closure of the Aqaba-Amman highway, according to the website.
Other demonstrations last year saw Qatraneh residents demanding "tribal fronts" or "wajihat", which are grazing lands the state allowed bedouins to use. They also protested against Qatraneh Cement Factory's recruitment policy.
In light of the protests, the ESC recommended activating the role of a committee tasked with studying the wajihat issue, and conducting social awareness programmes.
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