His Majesty King Abdullah II’s initiatives were launched to implement a vision to enhance the living conditions and standards of citizens, especially in poverty pockets. These initiatives build on various achievements and encompass several sectors — health, education, youth, the safeguarding of holy sites, social development and productive projects.
As His Majesty King Abdullah II ascended to the Throne on 7 February 1999, several Royal initiatives were launched that built on Jordan’s achievements and implemented His Majesty’s vision for enhancing citizens’ living conditions, especially in poverty pockets. Today, these initiatives encompass a range of sectors, such as healthcare, education, youth, custodianship over holy sites, social development and income-generating projects.
The Royal initiatives currently underway include:
Established in 2001, as a non-governmental organisation, the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) strives to improve living conditions in the Kingdom’s governorates by implementing social, educational and economic programmes aimed at distributing sustainable development gains through partnerships with the private sector and civil society institutions.
KAFD’s programmes and projects seek to serve individuals, groups, companies and public and private institutions within a framework that reflects KAFD’s principles of transparency, productivity, sustainability, collaboration and efficient funding. Moreover, KAFD seeks to contribute to a fair distribution of development gains among the governorates by establishing pioneering productive projects through real public-private partnerships and with civil society organisations.
- Supporting programmes and activities aimed at increasing national productivity and offering job opportunities by enhancing citizens’ living conditions.
- Contributing to establishing projects and entrepreneurial development companies around the Kingdom’s governorates, in addition to offering means for support and technical consulting to upgrade them.
- Building citizens’ capacities to enhance their competence and productivity.
- Supporting activities and offering programmes that galvanise young people’s creativity and excellence as well as nurture their talents.
- Promoting entrepreneurship by supporting research, innovation and development programmes.
Established by Royal Decree on 24 August 1999, under the name King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), the bureau is an independent military/civilian institution that works under the umbrella of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army. Concerned with research and development, it aims to offer optimal solutions in defence locally, regionally and internationally as well as to supply the Armed Forces with state-of-the-art military technology in order to develop industrial capacities in Jordan.
In 2020, a Royal Decree was issued approving amending the bylaws of the bureau, changing its name into the Jordan Design and Development Bureau (JODDB).
JODDB provides the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army with advanced technical and scientific services in several fields, such as applied engineering and research. It also attracts research projects with added value and develops their concepts into actual designs, which are then implemented by manufacturing test-ready samples. This phase entails actual production, according to international standards, a process that has turned JODDB into a hub for creativity and innovation.
Through the implementation of its strategy, JODDB seeks to build its capacities by developing human resources, qualifying engineers and enriching their knowledge in scientific research, design as well as development. Its goals also include devising applied solutions that increase the power of defence technology.
Moreover, JODDB has set out to establish partnerships with Jordanian universities to create an environment where students can implement their scientific research and projects that serve JODDB’s goals through cooperation.
Founded in January 2006, the King Abdullah II Centre for Excellence (KACE) aims to spread a culture of excellence and to function as a national point of reference to identify Jordan’s competitiveness by adopting best practices and incorporating them into the standards of the awards it launches and implements across all sectors.
KACE is the national point of reference assigned to measure the level of excellence and quality at public institutions, private unions, companies, education service providers and non-governmental institutions. It measures their capabilities and efficiency in providing services, in addition to their contributions to the competitiveness of the Jordanian economy.
The centre administers several awards.
In line with His Majesty King Abdullah II’s commitment to support and encourage excellence among students throughout Jordan, His Majesty has directed the Ministry of Education to create an award for students who excel in physical fitness: “The King Abdullah II Award for Physical Fitness”.
The Award is a programme to encourage activities at the Kingdom’s schools, through which students exercise for one hour every day, five times a week, over six consecutive weeks.
The prize seeks to ensure students’ utilise their free time positively. The Award is also aimed at building self-confidence and boosting competition and challenging oneself, creating a healthy culture in terms of sports and diet, exercising regularly and voluntarily, in addition to unleashing the hidden talents and potentials of students and investing in them.
Through King Abdullah II’s field visits to the country’s governorates and meetings with citizens and representatives of tribes and camps, the priorities of development projects in various sectors were identified. His Majesty ordered that these projects be implemented as quickly as possible to benefit citizens and improve their living conditions.
Sectors and Projects
His Majesty King Abdullah II has given a great deal of attention to the developmental, social and humanitarian sectors of the Jordanian community, striving to upgrade these vital areas with the goal of reaching sustainable development.
The Royal initiatives include the following projects:
His Majesty King Abdullah II has launched a number of development initiatives that are being implemented in partnership and coordination with concerned official parties, and they include:
- Supporting the Hashemite Fund for the Development of the Jordanian Badia by covering the operational expenses of a number of agricultural and productive projects.
- Supporting the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, which includes several development and productive projects in all sectors in cooperation with civil society institutions that have received steady financial assistance.
- Establishing productive factories to develop local communities and secure job opportunities to combat unemployment and poverty.
Youth and Sports Sector
In implementation of King Abdullah II’s vision, the youth sector has been supported in coordination with the Higher Council for Youth to benefit all governorates, by:
- Establishing and equipping community centres for young men and women.
- Starting knowledge stations with the latest computers and connected to the Internet.
- Opening cultural forums.
- Constructing facilities and stadiums for sports clubs.
- Providing financial support to sports clubs and fostering meaningful activities aimed at activating young people’s role in society.
- Providing means of transport to serve the goals of youth clubs and commissions.
Vocational Training and Recruitment
In accordance with His Majesty’s directives to combat unemployment, to employ and recruit young people and to enhance the standards of living of families around the Kingdom, especially in underprivileged areas, the Vocational Training Corporation has received support through the following actions:
- Establishing training workshops and equipping them with the needed tools and devices.
- Launching training programmes to qualify technical cadres in partnership with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and the Vocational Training Corporation.
Several pioneering projects to generate power from solar energy have been implemented around the Kingdom, including a project to provide heating to schools, via two solar stations in Mafraq and Maan governorates. Studies are also underway to supply a number of public sector facilities, such as the shelters affiliated with the Ministry of Social Development, with power generated from solar energy.
Many agricultural projects aimed at increasing vegetation in the Kingdom, in addition to productive agricultural projects geared towards achieving sustainable development and raising the economic and social level of beneficiary families have been implemented and given support.
The initiatives implemented in the agricultural sector include:
- “Juthoor” initiative (in the Wadi Mujib highlands), which is under the umbrella of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development.
- Projects to plant palm trees in Baqoura area and build an olive press in Deir Alla to benefit the Economic and Social Association of Retired Servicemen and Veterans.
- Revamping and opening some agricultural roads in the Kingdom’s governorates.
Many projects geared towards providing the best healthcare services in the Kingdom are underway, including:
- Establishing a number of public hospitals or expanding them.
- Opening many healthcare centres and equipping them with medical supplies and devices, in addition to ambulances, as well as implementing expansion and maintenance work at healthcare centres in all governorates.
- Supplying a number of Health Ministry and Royal Medical Services hospitals with the latest medical devices to upgrade the healthcare services offered to citizens.
- Funding an initiative to accredit a hospital in every governorate in order to enhance the quality of healthcare services offered.
To achieve His Majesty’s vision and aspirations to enhance education in the Kingdom, work is underway, in coordination with the Ministry of Education, to implement a number of Royal initiatives by taking the following actions:
- Establishing King Abdullah II Schools for Excellence around the Kingdom’s governorates and providing them with transport services.
- Building, expanding and maintaining many schools as well as opening kindergartens in them.
- Constructing and revamping a number of vocational schools in the Kingdom.
- Implementing the school heating initiative.
- Implementing the schoolbag and winter coat initiatives.
A number of tourism projects have been supported, with the aim of developing and supporting the sector, in addition to enhancing the level of services offered in Jordan. These projects include:
- Revamping and enhancing the roads to a number of governorates.
- Restoring and beautifying villages that attract tourists.
- Establishing public parks around the Kingdom.
- Establishing developmental tourism projects, such as inns for visitors and popular tourist viewpoints.
- Supporting a number of festivals held to promote tourism.
Initiatives to Support People with Disabilities
Work is underway to coordinate with the Ministry of Social Development and the Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities to construct and equip a number of centres to diagnose disability and centres for early detection. Work also seeks to fully rehabilitate people with disabilities, in addition to secure means of transport that would serve disability centres. Moreover, the initiatives entail offering direct support to a number of commissions and civil society institutions that care for this segment.
A bio-organic fertiliser production plant has been established to address the use of unprocessed plant and animal waste. The plant recycles the waste and processes them organically.
Hashemite Charity Caravans
The Hashemite Charity Parcels initiative was launched during Eid Al Adha 2004, with 5,300 food parcels distributed to families with limited incomes. Royal benefactions (makrumas) to distribute charity parcels continued after that on various occasions, with the number of distributed parcels reaching 30,000 in each campaign. After studies were conducted, the parcels were replaced with cash equivalents to be given to every family in need in accordance with procedure, as of the Ramadan 2012 campaign.
Decent Housing for Decent Living
In November 2005, His Majesty launched a pilot project for decent family housing in Mafraq Governorate, announcing that all families in need in the Kingdom’s governorates will be moved to better housing.
The first phase of the project included constructing 600 units for families in 10 governorates, while the second phase included building 1,400 units distributed around the Kingdom’s governorates. The units were completed and delivered to their rightful owners in line with the procedure followed in these cases. So far, more than 2,000 housing units have been delivered to their targeted beneficiaries, while hundreds of housing units are still under construction. This initiative also entails equipping the houses with furniture and the necessary appliances.
Starting in 2010, this initiative distributes parcels containing lamb meat that had been sacrificed in accordance with Islamic principles for Eid Al Adha as an annual Royal benefaction. His Majesty King Abdullah II ordered the distribution of 7,000 sacrifices to 14,000 deserving families annually based on the standards adopted by the Ministry of Social Development.
In line with Royal directives, date parcels are distributed annually to families in need across the Kingdom’s governorates, in line with standards implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development.
Safeguarding Holy Sites in the Kingdom and Jerusalem
The Royal initiatives to safeguard holy sites in the Kingdom and religious sites in Jerusalem include the following:
- Support building and maintaining mosques; and provide assistance to mosque committees in the Kingdom’s governorates.
- Allocate plots of land to Islamic graveyards in the Kingdom, and provide the required infrastructure.
- Rehabilitate martyrs’ cemeteries in the Kingdom (Karama Battle martyrs’ cemetery in Um Al Hiran and three other locations in cooperation with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army).
- Uphold the responsibilities enshrined in the Hashemite Custodianship over Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, in addition to the other Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, including their complete maintenance. This includes rebuilding Salaheddin’s minbar (pulpit) and refurbishing and restoring Al Aqsa Mosque.
Several government and civil society institutions (such as committees to enhance services at camps, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, charity societies and municipalities) have been provided with means of transport and required machinery, such as bulldozers and waste compactors.