Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter is in Jordan the 19th and 20th October 2015 for a two-day visit. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs visits the An-Nhdah school in Amman and the Azraq refugee camp, both supported by Switzerland. On the margins of the OSCE Mediterranean Conference, Didier Burkhalter meets with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, to discuss especially the Syria crisis.
Syria crisis: Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter in Jordan
Monday, 19.10.2015 Tuesday, 20.10.2015
OSCE; Conference Assembly; Travel
19.10.2015 - Schools and water: Swiss emergency aid is implemented in Jordan
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter visited on Monday, 19th October 2015, a school in a deprived suburb of Amman and the Azraq refugee camp, where Switzerland has been supporting a project aimed at ensuring the efficient supply of water to the some 24,000 Syrian refugees there. Mr Burkhalter, who is head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), thanked Jordan for its efforts in taking in more than 600,000 refugees fleeing Syria to date.
Didier Burkhalter stated that Switzerland wished to join them in their efforts and signed a letter of intent with UNICEF to this end. The United Nations Children's Fund is leading the activities to improve sanitary conditions in the camp, in particular by constructing a system to distribute drinking water. Mr Burkhalter stated that the Swiss government had become aware that aid was critical and that it had recently released a further CHF 70 million – in addition to the CHF 200 million already committed – for humanitarian assistance to be provided to the whole region affected by the Syrian crisis.
Mr Burkhalter's visit to a school in a deprived suburb of Amman highlighted the importance placed by the Federal Council on youth and on the protection of the most vulnerable. The school's classrooms and sanitary facilities were renovated as part of a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project co-financed by Switzerland. This has allowed the number of pupils attending the school to increase from 800 to 1,200 and is helping to give the younger generation prospects for the future.