Dr. Maher Al-Mahrouq, Director General of the ABJ, stated that the initiative announced by the association in collaboration with all banks in Jordan represented a qualitative addition in the field of enhancing efforts to enable the implementation of the Ministry of Social Development’s plans on the ground.

Al-Mahrouq, in a press interview discussing the corporate social responsibility of banks and the roles they play in enhancing sustainable development, mentioned that the initiative included providing financial support from banks in Jordan to the Ministry of Social Development. This support aims to back a range of projects overseen by the Ministry of Social Development, intended to alleviate poverty, support productive families, enhance economic empowerment for women, and contribute to combating unemployment through funding training programs designed to develop the skills of the youth and enable them to enter the job market.

Al-Mahrouq mentioned that the association launched an initiative at the end of Ramadan 2023 with support from the banks operating in the Kingdom. This initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, involves a total amount of 2 million Jordanian Dinars to support various social programs. Al-Mahrouq highlighted that the collaboration between the Banks Association and the Ministry of Social Development in this initiative serves as a model for partnership between the private and public sectors with the aim of providing community services. This opens up opportunities for other private sector institutions to develop similar initiatives to support vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society, within the framework of their corporate social responsibility efforts.

ABJ’s Director General spoke about the partnership framework with the Ministry of Social Development, explaining that, according to the ministry, the provided support will enable it to offer 78 social services in areas of protection, social care, and poverty reduction programs like development, enhancing productivity, and economic empowerment for women. Additionally, it covers the basic services overseen by the ministry, such as caring for specific groups like orphaned children, homeless children, and the elderly. This includes their accommodation in childcare homes and elderly care homes.

In the field of childhood, Al-Mahrouq pointed to the significant role of the ministry in offering programs that contribute to the care of children and provide the necessary support and assistance across different ages to ensure their proper integration into society. This includes the alternative family care program for children without family support, where they are placed with foster families following legal procedures. Furthermore, services for graduates from childcare homes include providing vocational or academic education, and furnishing marital homes for those who wish to marry, according to the guidelines prepared for this purpose. According to Dr. Al-Mahrouq, these programs and essential services will be funded through the initiative launched by the Banks Association, which is a complementary part of the ministry’s tasks in social development and the transition to the concept of social care, leading to the provision of social protection services for the most vulnerable individuals in society.

In a related aspect, Al-Mahrouq emphasized that the Ministry of Social Development had previously outlined its vision to expand the range of services it provides to persons with disabilities. This approach was one of the main reasons that led to the launch of the initiative by the banks. The banks are keen on supporting this category and offering direct services to them, such as providing ramps in branches, offering Braille services, as well as having speaking and electronic reading services on bank websites. The ministry’s services in the field of disability include care, education, rehabilitation, and employment of disabled individuals from various categories and ages, ensuring their integration into society through training and employment programs. Additionally, the ministry also works on raising awareness and educating families and citizens about the needs and rights of people with disabilities to be integrated into their communities.

Al-Mahrouq revealed that based on the ministry’s directions, the initiative will be linked to specific programs for people with disabilities, such as contributing to providing comprehensive care and rehabilitation services through 30 official centers, including five government centers and 25 centers belonging to the private and voluntary sector. It also aims to provide early intervention services for people with disabilities through day centers. Additionally, the initiative will contribute to the ministry’s efforts to establish 75 new early intervention units over the next five years and provide personal attendant services for people with severe disabilities by offering services from trained and qualified individuals. Moreover, it includes contributing to and creating three workshops for maintaining medical devices in the three regions to alleviate the financial burden on people with disabilities and their families. Thus, it contributes to the goal of providing medical devices and reducing their costs for people with disabilities.

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Social Development, being the main umbrella for social protection and care in the Kingdom, works diligently in important areas to preserve the social fabric of Jordan and to reduce imbalances to ensure protection of the society from the dangers of crime and deviation. This involves the ministry’s engagement with other entities in reform and rehabilitation programs for individuals residing in reform and rehabilitation centers, offering a range of social support services available in 18 departments across the Kingdom. The ministry also aims to provide appropriate programs, such as basic care, education, and training for targeted age groups, like juvenile care in six reformatory and rehabilitation homes.

On another note, Al-Mahrouq disclosed that a part of the support provided in the initiative targets the Ministry of Social Development’s efforts in the field of women, by supporting its efforts to provide protection for women and girls at risk of social violence through 19 family protection departments spread across the Kingdom. This also includes supporting the ministry’s commitments to global issues such as aiding victims of human trafficking, with these services being available through 6 social protection homes in the Kingdom.

Regarding poverty reduction programs, Al-Mahrouq highlighted the leading role of the National Aid Fund in offering an extensive range of services aimed at maintaining the foundations of a dignified life for beneficiaries. This is especially significant given the integration of these services with sustainable programs offered by the ministry, such as building, purchasing, and maintaining housing for needy and underprivileged families, and providing productive loans.

Al-Mahrouq expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Social Development for its significant efforts in the field of protection and social care, and for extending communication bridges with private sector institutions. He particularly appreciated the Minister, Wafa Bani Mustafa, for her active involvement and clear efforts in this domain. Al-Mahrouq also expressed deep thanks to the banks operating in Jordan for their prompt response and significant engagement with the initiative, noting the banks’ keenness to contribute to national efforts aimed at protecting vulnerable groups and enhancing social development. Al-Mahrouq added that this initiative comes in the context of the substantial and effective contributions of banks in the field of community development, where the banks have always been pioneers in launching many individual and collective initiatives.

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