UNICEF, Dar Abu Abdullah launch women centre to counter economic impacts of COVID-19

UNICEF and Dar Abu Abdullah (DAA) on Monday launched the Women’s Capacity Building and Productive Centre in Mafraq, as part of their ongoing partnership to create economic opportunities for youth and women during the pandemic, and promote refugee-host community social cohesion. 
The centre, located in the Zaatari district, will employ more than 70 Jordanians and Syrian refugees, and provide them with capacity building courses in new and transferable skills, including financial literacy and leadership courses, according to a UNICEF statement made available to The Jordan Times.
The workshop at the women’s centre will establish a viable production line, with a wide range of products, including 150,000 non-medical masks to support the national COVID-19 prevention response, and a variety of other garments. 
The production line will be accompanied with marketing campaigns designed to promote and market the products of the workshop, read the statement. 
“Only 15 per cent of women participate in the labour force in Jordan, compared with 67 per cent of men, and COVID-19 is further widening the gender gap in labour force participation,” said UNICEF Jordan Representative Tanya Chapuisat. 
“This partnership aims to create a demand driven economic engagement opportunities, that will empower women and youth contributing to their financial inclusion and build a better post-COVID-19 world,” Chapuisat added.
Director General of Dar Abu Abdullah Samer Balkar said: “Our mission is to empower the most vulnerable communities through programmes that sustain their livelihoods and improve the well-being of their families, leading to breaking out of the cycle of poverty.” 
“Through our partnership with UNICEF during the previous years, we provided the most vulnerable families with training and access to short-term employment opportunities. Today, this centre will contribute to providing those families with a stable source of income and sustainable job opportunities,” Balkar said.
To meet international export standards, the centre is established based on the European and World Bank standards in areas of human resources, social impact and environment. 
Employees choose to work full shift, half shifts or get paid per piece depending on their personal needs. The centre will also allow working from home for an additional number of women, said the statement.
UNICEF and Dar Abu Abdullah’s partnership aims to facilitate access to self-employment opportunities and increase food security for most vulnerable households, through the establishment of 50 green rooftops, connecting households with green rooftops with private sector buyers, to ensure these households receive monthly financial income.
It also improves the sustainability of local community-based organisations, with the establishment of small projects and the creation of linkages with the market, in addition to helping vulnerable adolescents and youth in their smooth transition into active and productive adult life through the leadership programmes. 
This partnership is part of the Amaluna UNICEF programme that has been supporting 3,500 vulnerable youth across Jordan with market-driven and accredited skills for meaningful employment opportunities. 
The programme has achieved a 70 per cent employment rate and supported the establishment of 274 women and youth-led social enterprises, the statement said.
The Women’s Capacity Building and Productive Centre was funded by the government of Canada and the government of Japan, concluded the statement.
Jordan Times
18 October 2021