August 1, 2016
AMMAN – The UN Refugee Agency and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Letter of Understanding today to provide electricity training for refugees living in Zaatari Camp. This training aims to increase the expertise and qualifications of skilled refugees working on the newly established electricity grid in Zaatari camp.
The first phase of the training will target 56 refugees who are part of Zaatari electricity volunteers' network that UNHCR is currently building. The objective is to establish up to 200 trained and qualified volunteers. Thanks to this specialized training, refugees will be able to repair and maintain electrical works, and will be responsible for the electrical connections to households under the supervision of UNHCR electrical engineers; improving the safety of the electricity network in Zaatari Camp.
Mr. Shokichi Sakata, Chief Representative of JICA Jordan Office said: "We believe that this training will contribute to the stable distribution of electricity in Zaatari Camp and protect the health and safety of the refugees. In addition, it is important to build synergies between two distinct approaches of humanitarian and development assistance in dealing with shorter-term humanitarian needs of the displaced as well as the longer-term development requirements of the displaced and their host communities."
Mr. Andrew Harper, UNHCR's Representative to Jordan, noted: "This training is very timely, now that we have built a proper electrical network in the camp; it is essential to minimize damages to the new network caused by improper electrical connections. This joint undertaking is both a reflection of the close partnership between the Government of Japan and UNHCR, and a reflection of our on-going commitment to invest in the capacities of refugees in Jordan."
The forthcoming electrical trainings will take place over a period of 8 months at the Electric Training Center (ETC) in Zarqa which was established in 1987 with support by JICA and operated by National Electric Power Company (NEPCO). While supporting the safe provision to energy to residents in the Camp, the training will provide tangible skills for Syrians over the longer-term, supporting their eventual safe return to Syrian and contributing to the future reconstruction of their country.
UNHCR and JICA identified the urgency of investing in camp-based refugees to support the sustainability of the new electricity network, and ensure the safety of refugees. UNHCR recently completed works an 8.67 Mega Watts (MW) electrical distribution network, the largest ever in a refugee camp to provide a safe, reliable and sustainable energy supply to all refugee households. The investment in energy provision in Zaatari Camp is part of the Agency's Global Strategy for Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) 2014-2018.