Jordan: Adaptation to Climate Change to Sustain Jordan’s MDG Achievements


Jordan has one of the lowest levels of water resources availability, per capita, in the world. Although the country has made advances towards achieving MDG targets, its accomplishments are being compromised as this crippling water scarcity and climate change bring additional threats to health, food security, productivity and human security. The Joint Programme was designed to address these challenges as a key to sustaining Jordan’s human development gains and growth. 

The following programme goals were part of an overall effort to assist Jordan in sustainably managing its natural resources, reducing poverty and improving health indicators:

  1. Developing sustained access to improved water supply sources, despite increasing water scarcity due to climate change.
  2. Strengthening the capacity for health protection and food security under conditions of water scarcity.

Main achievements included:

  • The programme completed the implementation of Water Safety Plans (WSPs) as a risk management approach to protecting drinking water safety in five pilot areas. This was expected to upgrade drinking water quality control for almost 2 million Jordanians.
  • Critical laboratory equipment was procured and installed in the Ministry of Health water testing labs. The Drinking water operator and regulator achieved a compliance percentage >99.0%. Training of Trainers modules were developed and awareness was increased on the need to adopt a preventative approach in the management of the Division of Water Quality.
  • The capacity to adapt to climate change in the area of food security was strengthened through the identification and dissemination of climate resilient techniques (conservation agriculture) and the development of a more resilient and productive wheat variety.
  • A model farm reusing treated wastewater was created for use as a training and demonstration center.
  • Piloted interventions for showcasing, awareness campaigns targeting stakeholders at different levels, and training programmes enhanced the capacities of local communities, youths, decision makers and professionals. This included the establishment of the International Center for Water and Environmental Research at Al Balqa Applied University, providing expertise and research in the area of climate change and its impact on health and food security under water scarcity conditions.
  • Health vulnerability assessments and a national adaptation strategy and plans of actions for health protection from climate change were conducted in six critical areas: heat waves, nutrition, water and food-borne disease, vector-borne disease, occupational health and air-borne and respiratory disease. The capacities of Ministry of Health technical teams were developed and overseen by a MOH steering committee, which provided a good mechanism for MOH ownership and future replication of the programme's achievements.
  • Capacity to adapt to climate change was strengthened in the Zarqa River Basin (ZRB), where extensive studies were conducted to assess and model climate change impacts on water quality and availability as well as to identify adaptation measures addressing these impacts.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programme in Jordan.




Programme Dates 30 Jan 2009 - 28 Feb 2013
Net funded amount $4,000,000
Participating UN agencies FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, WHO
National partners Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Education (MOE), The Ministry of Environment (MOEnv), Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), Water supply companies, Parliament, National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), Zarqa Governorate, and local municipalities and communities, World Conservation Union (IUCN)
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