Message from the Chief Representative

The ruins of Petra, famous for being the filming location for the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", are located between the Dead Sea, which has a high salt concentration that makes you float, and the Gulf of Aqaba, which faces the Red Sea and where you can enjoy diving. It is a world heritage site in southern Jordan.

National land area of Jordan is almost the same as my hometown of Hokkaido, which is the northernmost prefecture in Japan, but the population is about twice that. It is an Arab nation located in the Middle East, surrounded by Iraq to the east, Palestine and Israel to the west, Saudi Arabia to the south, and Syria to the north. On the other hand, unlike neighboring countries that are blessed with oil and gas production, the natural resources produced domestically are limited and most of them are imported.


JICA has been providing financial support to the Government of Jordan, in order to reduce the burden as a host country and promote economic stability and development in Jordan, which accepts many refugees from neighboring Syria and Palestine. In addition, in collaboration with Jordanian governmental agencies, we have been inviting government officers from neighboring countries and regions such as Palestine, Iraq and Yemen to conduct technical training and promote regional collaboration. Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers were dispatched to elementary schools operated in refugee camps, facilities for persons with disabilities, kindergartens and universities, where they carried out activities that leveraged their respective expertise.

Approximately 80% of the country is desert, with little rainfall, making water shortages a serious issue in Jordan. Additionally, the unemployment rate is extremely high at around 22% (especially around 46% for young people), making job creation an urgent issue.

JICA has so far provided cooperation to improve water supply networks and strengthen countermeasures for non-revenue water. In addition, in order to resolve the power shortages, we focus on promoting renewable energy integration, through the technical cooperation for improving power stability and energy efficiency, and the financial cooperation for the construction and operation of solar power plant by private companies. In the tourism sector, which greatly contributes to the acquisition of foreign currency and job creation, we have supported to construct museums at tourist destinations across the country such as the Jordan Museum and the Petra Museum. We are also working on cooperation for "Sustainable Tourism Development" that aims to benefit local communities. In addition, the ancient city of Salt, located in the midwestern part of Jordan, was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2021 through the cooperation with Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan and introduction of its “museum without a roof” model.

The Dead Sea in western Jordan is 400m below the sea level and is said to be the deepest part of the earth, while the eastern highlands are 1,600m above the sea level, with a plateau that slopes sharply from east to west. There are also valleys here and there that have been carved out by natural forces such as rainfall. The ruins of Petra, which means "rock" in Greek, were built by carving out such steep rock walls.

Since 1837, four large-scale earthquakes (magnitude 6 to 8) have been observed along the Jordan Rift Valley, which runs north from Aqaba along the border with Israel. In addition, flash floods occurs in the Dead Sea and Petra, most recently in the winters of 2018 and 2022 respectively, resulting in the loss of precious lives in the past.

JICA's basic policy will continue to be to contribute to the maintenance of stability and industrial development in Jordan. In addition, through co-creation with other donors, NGOs, and private sector stakeholders active in the region, we will promote the realization of a decarbonized society, particularly in order to establish the foundation for sustainable growth, and the stabilization of the country and surrounding regions. Specifically, in addition to developing urban infrastructure such as disaster prevention and urban transportation, where Japan can demonstrate its strengths, we will work to form advanced projects to promote the nexus of water and energy. We will also actively work to empower vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, women, and refugees, and formulate projects in the fields of education and mental health.

Chief Representative
JICA Jordan Office