Preventing conflicts - creating prospects for youth (Civil Peace Service)
Title: Civil Peace Service/Special initiative on displacement: Promoting conflict resolution mechanisms and creating prospects for vulnerable groups and regions in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
For decades, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. Various factors are currently threatening this stability. Social conflicts, economic problems, political tension and associated migratory movements threaten to overwhelm the country.
Jordan has traditionally been a host country for many refugees. Roughly half the population is made up of people of Palestinian origin, while the remainder is made up of the traditional ‘Transjordanian/East Jordanian’ population. According to estimates, more than 1.3 million people have found refuge in Jordan since the start of the civil war in neighbouring Syria. The country also hosts a large number of Iraqi, Somali, Yemeni and Sudanese refugees. More than 80 per cent of these people live in towns and communities. The host locations are often unable to cope with the situation.
Regional tensions are increasingly aggravating the problems of fast population growth and existing conflict factors such as resource scarcity, social inequality, a lack of housing and a tight labour market. As a result of the centralist political system, opportunities for participation are lacking for citizens, municipalities and regions. The gap between rich and poor is continuing to widen. Conflicts are mounting between local residents and refugees, but also within society as a whole. The threat of radicalisation is growing.
The head of state, King Abdullah II, is generally open to reforms. Civil society has to be strengthened in order to initiate and implement such reforms effectively. It currently lacks resources to meet the needs.
The people living in Jordan are capable of taking control of their lives and going about their day-to-day business – irrespective of their origin, economic situation, age, sex or place of residence. Marginalised population groups are given new prospects, and social cohesion is strengthened. The population is able to participate in processes of social change and can deal with tension without resorting to violence.
The Civil Peace Service (CPS) programme addresses areas where the situation can potentially lead to conflicts between different population groups. It is devoted to easing tension between host communities and refugees. The target groups are marginalised sections of the population with special focus on women and youth. The project supports confidence building between government institutions and civil society, especially in regions where prospects for young people are less developed. Creative cultural approaches and strategies designed to prevent conflicts open up new prospects for the target groups. Safe spaces enable different population groups to interact and help to reinforce social cohesion. This strengthens participation in processes of social change at community level and reduces the potential for frustration and radicalisation.