Improving green infrastructure by employing refugees

Project description

Title: Improvement of green infrastructure in Jordan through labour-intensive measures (cash for work)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Jordanian Ministry of Environment
Overall term: 2017 to 2023

Men collecting waste in the Dibbeen Forest (photo: GIZ/Cash for Work Green Infrastructure)


According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 670,637 refugees from Syria were officially registered in Jordan up to August 2021. That corresponds to a 10 per cent increase in the Jordanian population. 81 per cent of the refugees do not live in refugee camps, but in host communities, which places very heavy demands on the basic infrastructure there. Functional public green areas, green networks and recreational areas are insufficiently integrated into spatial planning. Moreover, the communities lack the funds to maintain green areas.


Thanks to labour-intensive measures by Jordanian and Syrian workers, green infrastructures are developed while social cohesion, public life, the urban climate and biodiversity are strengthened. The living conditions of vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees are improved by temporary employment opportunities.

A new playground in Jana'a Park in Zarqa (photo: GIZ/Cash for Work Green Infrastructure)


The project is part of the Special Initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’ (Special Initiative on Displacement). The measures financed benefit both the displaced persons and the host communities. The focus is on creating and restoring green infrastructure. The workers plant trees, create picnic areas, and restore parks, playgrounds and sports facilities. The project pays particular attention to the needs of women and girls in the public sphere.

4,200 workers are employed for at least two months in ten communities and 16 rural areas. Half of the workers are vulnerable Jordanians, the other half are Syrian refugees – at least 20 per cent are women. After the end of the employment relationship, the workers have the opportunity to participate in training. Around 3,200 workers are acquiring qualifications in various fields.

Last update: September 2021

Five young people painting a wall in the village of Fifa (photo: GIZ/Cash for Work Green Infrastructure).

Additional information