Sport for development in Jordan and Northern Iraq (S4D)


Project title: Exchange, education, and conflict management through Sport for Development
Commissioned by: Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan, Iraq
Lead executing agency: Jordan: Ministry of Education
Iraq: Ministry of Planning, Kurdish Regional Government​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2016 to 2024

Girls Playing football in Zaatari Camp


Since 2011, the war in Syria and the rise of terrorist militia have driven millions from their homes. By mid-2016, more than 655,000 Syrian refugees were officially registered in Jordan, while estimates believe there are more than twice that number. Iraq has taken in around 200,000 refugees in the last 10 years and has more than three million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Refugees mostly live in host communities. In some cities, rising refugee numbers are an added burden and present enormous challenges, for example, access to basic services and healthcare. Tailored psychosocial support, education and leisure activities have become vital to help ease the resulting tensions. Traumatised people, children, and young people, in particular, require professional guidance and support. Many local authorities and schools have reached their limits, with teaching staff working a double-shift system to cope.


In Iraqi and Jordanian refugee camps and host communities, internally displaced persons, refugees and local people aged between eight and 24 are building resilience, improving mental health and promoting social values in a safe environment by engaging in sporting activities together.

A group photo of School students after the conclusion of a S4D Festival - Amman


The project supports local organisations in rolling out sporting activities that promote physical and mental development among Syrian refugees and Jordanian youth. It builds on experience gained from projects in South Africa, Colombia and Brazil.
Based on the Do-No-Harm concept, all project measures are planned and designed to be conflict sensitive. Through the project, local trainers, sports instructors, and social workers are introduced to diverse options for development that can be harnessed through sport. These can eventually be applied to designing sporting activities in future that specifically promote social values and skills.

Last update: April 2022

Girls Participating in EPF Coach Clinic - Wadi Musa

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