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Development Projects in JordanJordan’s economy is projected to grow within the next year. Despite regional instability in Africa and the Middle East, five development projects in Jordan work toward the common goal of improving socio-economic conditions for its citizens.

City-to-City Exchange

In 2015, the US Agency for International Development conducted a city-to-city exchange program between Pocatello, Idaho and Hooksett, New Hampshire and three cities in Jordan: Al-Shou’la, Muath bin Jabal and Tabaquet Fahel. The program began in March of 2015 with the objective to advise the local Jordanian government on economic development ideas and approaches.

US representatives acting as advisors collaborated on plans for a local farmers market in Al-Shou’la, municipal development in Muath bin Jabal and the development of a refrigeration system in Tabaquet Fahel. These projects were devised to stimulate the economy and benefit local farmers and producers. The city-to-city program hopes to help in areas of infrastructure, education and the deliverance of basic needs to Jordanians.

Al-Manar Project

The Al-Manar Project is a free national human resource development center that works to advance the career prospects of Jordanians. This is accomplished by offering human resource information that may support Jordanian advancement in the career field. Gender and social inclusiveness are the main concerns for the project.

Al-Manar provides career counseling, online career development, access to human resource information and guidance for university students and professionals alike. Career Development Coordinator Dr. Khaled AlQudah is currently working on improving support in schools.  Distribution of information is accomplished via physical locations and updated online databases accessible by anyone.

The Rural Economic Growth and Employment Project

The Rural Economic Growth and Employment project was developed in 2015 to involve small-scale local farmers and reinforce the agricultural sector to benefit the country collectively. Designed to reduce unemployment among the youth, the six-year-long project includes loan extensions to farmers and the promotion of their produce. This may include ISO safety and quality certifications.

Renewable Energy

Steady economic growth is succeeding in Jordan, says a 2017 report from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.  Accordingly, the growth is positively correlated with the use of fossil fuel consumption. Fossil fuels currently act as Jordan’s main electrical supply.

The government has set out to replace at least 10 percent of nonrenewable resources with renewable energies by 2020. Nuclear energy, wind and solar energies are among those in contention to comprise the 10 percent goal. Governmentally sanctioned development projects in Jordan are in the planning and implementation phases of working toward this goal, the report says.

Jordan’s Vision 2025

Jordan’s vision for 2025 is a holistic approach that includes the development of nine economic pockets throughout the kingdom. These include support for local businesses and entrepreneurship. E-commerce and gaming were among some of the prospects tied up in this vision’s plan.

Under the same program, Jordan’s foreign trade policy is designed to supplement local businesses by improving market access to Jordanian exports like clothing, pharmaceuticals and produce. The side-effects of empowering local businesses such as Jordan’s Classic Fashion Apparel Industry Co. Ltd. include an emphasis on employee satisfaction and social responsibility.

According to the 2016 World Bank’s Economic Outlook Report for Jordan, these five development projects in Jordan are contributing to its improved future. With all the kingdom’s recent success, the pursuit of economic and social victories are sure to continue.

– Sloan Bousselaire

Photo: Flickr

Development Projects in IranIran has the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, after Saudi Arabia. However, since the country’s nuclear program became public in 2002, the United Nations, the European Union and several individual countries and organizations have imposed sanctions on Iran in order to prevent the development of military nuclear capability. These sanctions made it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for international aid to reach impoverished parts of the country. For instance, the World Bank has not approved a Country Assistance Strategy for Iran and has not approved new lending to the country since 2005. Some international organizations, though, are funding programs to aid in providing health care and increasing environmental sustainability.

Here is a look at five development projects in Iran:

  1. Malaria Control (United Nations Development Programme)
    In partnership with national and international partners such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme has implemented the Intensified Malaria Control in High Burden Provinces towards Falciparum Elimination project in Iran to eliminate the disease. The project, started in October 2011, includes distributing insect nests to protect against infected mosquito bites, training volunteers to engage in early case findings and collaborating with local women as a symbol of community participation.
  2. Stanford Iran 2040 Project (Stanford University)
    Established in 2006, the Stanford Iran 2040 Project allows researchers all around the world to study issues related to the future of the Iranian economy. The core research centers on economy, population, energy, water, agriculture and the financial system. From this research, experts will be better equipped to aid in Iran’s future development by evaluating how these issues affect the country.
  3. Carbon Sequestration Project (United Nations Development Programme)
    The Carbon Sequestration Project aims to capture and control atmospheric carbon in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran and to improve the socioeconomic status of local communities. So far, the project has created 577 permanent jobs, held 400 training programs, established microcredit systems with 63 Village Development Groups, rehabilitated over 30,000 hectares of land and empowered women to play an active role in all of the project’s initiatives.
  4. Iran Transport Projects (Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development)
    The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development in Iran has signed 13 contracts worth $12 billion since March 2015 with investors from the Iranian private sector and foreign companies. These investments fund development projects in Iran across air, road, marine and rail transportations. Some of the notable plans include a 230-mile freeway connecting the city of Kerman to the Persian Gulf Port of Bandar Abbas, as well as a high-speed railroad connecting Tehran to Isfahan, a central tourism hub.
  5. Country Coordinating Mechanism Funding (United Nations Development Programme)
    Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) develop and submit grant proposals to the Global Fund based on national needs. The Global Fund is a partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. CCMs allow for local ownership and participation in decision-making processes.

These development projects in Iran provide hope for the nation to move toward a more stable and sustainable future.

– Richa Bijlani

Photo: Flickr

Post-Genocide Reconstruction in RwandaAfter the three-month-long genocide in 1994 that claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 predominantly Tutsi and moderate-Hutu citizens, Rwanda has been working to rebuild, reconstruct and promote lasting peace and stability.

Poverty in the post-genocide years is still a prevalent issue, even after 23 years of reconstruction in Rwanda. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, and the nation failed to meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 poverty rate by 2015. However, the current state of poverty must be considered in the context of the conflict and upheaval Rwanda has experienced and the progress it has made since its brutal setback.

Between 2000 and 2010, there was a 23.8 percent reduction in poverty. Rwanda has also become one of the fastest-growing economies in Central Africa. It had four straight years, between 2011 and 2014, of GDP growth at eight percent. These are all positive signs for Rwanda’s future.

Since the genocide and the preceding civil war, under the leadership of former-RPF leader Paul Kagame, the government, local NGOs and the international community have worked toward reconstruction in Rwanda.

On the federal level, economic reform has led to rapid and sustainable economic growth which has lifted many people out of poverty. Privatization and liberalization have been the core tenets of this economic growth. More specifically, it has been achieved by increasing opportunities for employment outside of the agricultural sector, increasing agricultural productivity and increasing entrepreneurship and small business ownership.

Women have been central to reconstruction in Rwanda. Women make up 57 percent of the adult working population and they produce nearly 70 percent of the country’s overall agricultural output. Women have also organized themselves into socio-professional associations, development associations and cooperative groups, thereby taking control of and exercising agency over the reconstruction process.

Outside of the economy, gender equality has still been a focus, especially in politics. Women make up 64 percent of the Rwandan parliament, which is three times the worldwide average of 22 percent.

Interpersonal social reconstruction has also been a necessity, since the conflict exploited ethnic divides and hatreds. On the federal level, Rwanda adopted a policy of de-ethnicization wherein they “erased” ethnicity, stating that there were no longer Hutu and Tutsis, only unified Rwandans. On the local level, communities implemented Gacaca community courts to relieve the judicial burden of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda and foster accountability and reconciliation.

Local organizations and initiatives have had a crucial role to play in reform and reconstruction. These groups have worked on both the community empowerment and economic empowerment levels, as well as on many other fronts.

The Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe’s Action Peace Campaign works to empower women to realize the need to live in peace, give them the tools to live together peacefully and organize “dialogue clubs” to address underlying tensions. Another initiative, TO THE MARKET, is an online sales platform where genocide survivors can sell homemade goods globally. This harnesses local entrepreneurship and economically empowers the artisans.

Regarding the government, Kagame’s leadership has been strong and authoritative. While this has allowed him to mandate many economic reforms, it has also squashed political dissidence and limited freedom of the press.

The needs of women continually need to be met. The Rwandan Genocide was the first time in which mass rape was recognized as a tool of genocide. The prevalence of rape during the conflict means that today there are thousands of survivors who need unique support from the government and from society.

Finally, Rwanda is still very dependent on foreign aid. Approximately 35 percent of its budget comes from foreign aid. The next step in reconstruction should be to increase independence and make sustainable economic advancements so Rwanda can support itself with less support from the international community.

– Olivia Bradley

Photo: Flickr

5 Development Projects in TurkeyTurkey, the country that straddles the line between Asia and Europe, has been investing billions of dollars to improve its infrastructure. There are five development projects in Turkey that focus on improving its transportation, energy and healthcare systems.

The Istanbul New Airport
The first of these development projects is the construction of Turkey’s third international airport; its current name is the Istanbul New Airport. When completed, this airport will be the largest international airport in the world. As mentioned, since Turkey is a bridge between Asia and Europe, its airports receive a lot of traffic. In 2018, by the airport’s completion, it will have already provided business to 150 million people. This extensive project, with a projected cost of $11.3 billion, will not only hold 500 airplanes and rail-connected terminals but also provide the best security available. Security is a top concern, especially after the Atatürk Airport terrorist attack in 2016 that killed 40 and injured 250 more.

Three-Story Grand Istanbul Tunnel Project
Turkey was not satisfied with developing one record-breaking construction project, so they are also working on a second. The Three-Story Grand Istanbul Tunnel Project is a three-story subsea tunnel, consisting of two highways above and below a railway that will ride in the middle. This 6.5 kilometer tunnel will connect the two ends of Istanbul and will reduce travel times between Hasdal and Çamlık by about 14 minutes. This tunnel system is expected to cost $3.5 billion after completion, which is a modest cost for a transportation system that will service 6.5 million travelers a day.

Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project
The project to build the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project began in March 2015, yet the project is still ongoing. The project is to develop a pipeline that will send natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey. 10 billion cubic meters of gas will be sent to Europe, and another 6 billion cubic meters will be sent to Turkey starting in 2018. This project will cost $11.7 billion and will provide 15,000 jobs.

Nuclear Power Plants
Along with receiving gas power, Turkey will also invest in developing its own nuclear power after having plans for one since 1970. The first of these plants, Akkuyu 1, will begin construction in 2018 and will begin operation in 2023. This $20 billion dollar plant will produce 1,200 megawatt reactors and will be the first of four reactors built by Rosatom. This is an important investment for Turkey since it spends $50 billion annually on importing energy, and this first plant will provide 5 percent of the country’s energy.

Etlik Integrated Healthcare Campus
The last of these five development projects in Turkey is the Etlik Integrated Healthcare Campus, which will be one of the world’s largest hospital campuses at more than one million square meters. This hospital will offer general care, as well as specialty units for neurological sciences, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and many more. These units are also separated into designated areas for diagnosis and treatment, with 3,577 beds for patients. The construction of this center will cost $1.3 billion, take three and a half years to construct, and will provide a 24-year operating term after completion.

Turkey is investing billions upon billions of dollars to ensure a successful and healthy environment for its people. By providing support for these five development projects in Turkey, the government is increasing its citizens’ standard of living with the best technology, convenience and security.

– Scott Kesselring

Photo: Flickr

Development Projects in Costa RicaCosta Rica has long been a global leader due to its environmental accomplishments and is the only country in the world that has reversed deforestation. This upper-middle-income country is a developmental success in many ways and still has work to be done. Here is a look at five development projects in Costa Rica.

  1. The city of Limon is undergoing a large project which aims to modernize the port city. The Integrated Infrastructure Project aims to improve the protection and management of the cultural and natural heritage of the city. It is also working to increase access to the sewage system in order to reduce urban flooding as well as foster a more credible local government. From a business perspective, this plan hopes to create new employment opportunities and to support port modernization in order to improve access to the Limon and Moin port terminals.
  2. As mentioned earlier, Costa Rica is a global leader in environmental programs. One program with environmental impacts is the Carbon Sequestration in Small Farms which aims to reduce over 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions by the end of 2017. This would be done by reforesting 4,140 hectares of land in Costa Rica over a period of three years. This project will also create additional ecological, wildlife and landscape diversity in the project area.
  3. The Umbrella Project is another project to help reduce carbon emissions. This would be done by substituting electricity produced by thermal plants with electricity from renewable sources. This is called the Umbrella Project because it is essentially serving as an umbrella to facilitate the implementation of other smaller projects in the country.
  4. Beginning in January 2018, Costa Rica is set to begin construction and expansion of a key highway. This highway, Ruta 32, connects the provinces of Limon and San Jose. This project will also add 16 miles of bike lanes, 23 pedestrian bridges, 176 bus stops and an access road to the port city of Moin.
  5. The last of the five development projects in Costa Rica deals with the environment. The Tourism Institute of Costa Rica will be designating $3 million over the course of three years in order to enhance services in Protected Wild Areas in order to provide an unforgettable experience to visitors.

– Lorial Roballo

Photo: Pixabay

Humanitarian Aid to India
With up to 1.3 billion citizens within an area of 3.1 million km, the country of India is soon to become the most populated country in the world. With that many people, proper living conditions in the country have decreased and inequality has increased. More than half of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. Along with this problem are tied many more. The lack of economic stability within the country has affected all branches of society. A lack of proper education, poor access to sanitation and social inequality are all problems that have increased over the past few decades. The U.N., UNICEF, Intermón Oxfam, Humanitarian Aid international and many more nonprofit organizations have taken action by sending humanitarian aid to India.

Christ for India has taken a prominent step forward by working with humanitarian ministers across India. Along with medical ministers, Christ for India has helped build houses for children living in poverty. Medical camps have also been built around villages in the country in order to provide medical care for those in need. By offering sewing, electrical repairs and technological courses, humanitarian aid in India also offers citizens opportunities for a better life.

The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust is an organization that combines humanitarian aid to India with public support in that same country and many more. The organization helps to address issues generally not tackled by bigger humanitarian aid organizations. The success of the organization has lead to an increase of performed surgeries and the creation of more hospitals in India.

Natural disasters are also a big cause of poverty in India. During this year’s summer, up to 41 million citizens were affected by flooding. The U.N.’s humanitarian agencies rapidly took action in order to provide food, clean water, shelter and medical attention to those affected by the floods.

The success of humanitarian aid to India is undeniable. Many issues have been tackled by many organizations, providing better living conditions for citizens in the country. Not only has India received aid but it has also increased the amount of international aid and assistance it provides to other countries.

India, despite its poverty levels, has the fourth largest economy in the world. This has helped the country in regards to humanitarian aid. Thanks to its economy, India has been able to provide help to Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and others, and has been able to stand out in regards to development assistance.

– Paula Gibson
Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in ComorosComoros is an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Eastern Africa and home to a population of about 734,900 people. It is a nation that has struggled with political instability and poverty despite its picturesque beaches and natural beauty. The issues of poverty can be partially attributed to the poor state of infrastructure in Comoros.

In a worldwide comparison, Comoros ranked 198th, theoretically attributing 1.11 meters of infrastructure for each of the estimated 790,000 inhabitants currently residing in the country. Transport systems are particularly limited in Comoros, with only 673 km of the total 880 km of roads having been paved. Additionally, there are no railway systems of any nature available to its citizens.

The economy and infrastructure have been tied to each other for many years. This has been demonstrated in the fact that the weak infrastructure in Comoros and the business climate have severely hampered economic activity. It is currently ranked 153rd out of 190 countries in the World Banks’ most recent report, dropping one place since the previous assessment.

With these apparent issues in the infrastructure and economy of Comoros, there must be improvements made to these aspects of the country. Some work that has already been undertaken has come in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). These aim to create long-term contracts between a private party and a government entity, in which a public asset or service is provided, and bear all risk and management responsibilities.

One of these projects was established in 1998, called Comorienne de d’eau et de l’electricite (CEE), but it was cancelled soon after. There was an additional project in 2003, Mutsamudu Port, which received $500,000 in funding.

Other programs include the Infrastructure, Water, and Environment Project for the Comoros, which was established to support the objective of improving living conditions and stimulating economic growth. It aims to do this, while also protecting the environment, through investments to the basic infrastructure in Comoros.

The component of transport to the program is extremely important, as it assists Comoros with improving road maintenance, safety and management. Management improvements are achieved through three subcomponents: national and regional roads periodic maintenance, roads safety and institutional strengthening.

These subcomponents will rehabilitate earthworks, including pothole repair, local reinforcement, resurfacing and resealing. They will also maintain and repair road shoulders, finance the installation of traffic signals and strengthen the capacity of the executing agency, among other things.

The urban water supply is another component of importance that will rehabilitate and extend the urban water infrastructure. This will support technical assistance to strengthen the management and operation of urban water utilities.

With more efforts like these, improvements to the infrastructure in Comoros can make the fight against poverty achievable.

– Drew Fox

Photo: Flickr

infrastructure in peruIn July 2017, George Mallett from The Market Mogul put it simply: “Peru is at a juncture.” The development of infrastructure in Peru has had a mixed record. The country was devastated by floods in early 2017, leaving many in poor living conditions. However, the country has invested billions in its transport infrastructure that only affects some of the population and is financed by debt. It is important that Peru spend and build in ways that benefit the whole population.

In 2016, prior to the floods, the government of Peru pledged $33 billion toward infrastructure projects. The money was pledged to construct highways, airports and a port. Local governments would also be involved in the projects, which was seen as a great way to involve communities. The President intended to extend potable and sewerage water services to 100 percent of the population over the next five years.

Since the floods, the country’s government has been working on projects to rebuild, as well as improve, the infrastructure to prepare for future disasters. Water supply is an important issue that the government wants to make sure is accessible to its entire population. There are plans to build reservoirs in the mountains.

Its first priority is rebuilding towns and communities, then working on the infrastructure in Peru for future disasters. The government also wants to control where people settle so that people are living in areas that are reachable and have adequate living conditions and resources.

Since Peru wants to continue growing its economy and improve its reputation in Latin America and the world, it must improve its infrastructure for the entire population. As such, it is important to make sure that many people in Peru will benefit from these projects.

The mining and commodity industry in Peru is growing very quickly, so organizations, like The Nature Conservancy, are focused on minimizing the impact of these industries on the environment and the surrounding communities.

The Nature Conservancy recognizes this “boom” as a great opportunity for the country, but wants to make sure that the environment is not affected. It is pushing for zero environmental impacts as well as the development of hydropower plants. It also focuses on informing Indigenous communities about the social and ecological effects the mining industry can have. Infrastructure in Peru must reflect and react to these implications.

At the moment, Peru is at a crossroads: it must rebuild its poorer infrastructure while allowing for economic growth through its mining and commodity industries. The U.N. has pushed for the country to implement multi-hazard warning systems and educate citizens about the environmental risks of these endeavors.

In short, Peru must continue to improve its infrastructure and garner international support for its initiatives. The steady improvements to infrastructure in Peru will have lasting, positive effects on its population.

– Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in Fiji
Development of infrastructure is a key factor to establish a growing state. The infrastructure in Fiji benefits from a thriving tourism sector that energizes the islands. Roads, electricity, water supply, ports and the government are showing growth in a positive manner.

Transportation is a key component in the infrastructure of a state. In Fiji, the road system connects all town and cities and ferry rides offer water transportation. There are 25 local airports and two international airports serving as a trans-Pacific air traffic zone from the main island, Viti Levu. Ensuring access to transportation is necessary for the tourism industry in Fiji.

The developments also benefit access to clean water among the islands and electricity to most areas in Fiji.

Eighty percent of Fiji’s electricity comes from hydroelectric generation and 20 percent comes from imported fossil fuels. Electricity is coordinated by Fiji Electricity Authority, but a high demand, as a result of growth, has prompted other electric producers to partake in this industry.

Telecommunications is another avenue seeing great development. Full inter-island and international telephone access, as well as cable links and satellite access, are signs of growth. The deregulation and privatization of telecommunications have left an open market to internet providers. A Fijian-British joint venture gained an investment of $7.1 million in cellular telephone networks.

Infrastructure in Fiji is flourishing and has had large impacts on human rights and liberties as a result of government reforms. November 2014 marked the end of nearly eight years of military rule and the beginning of a free and fair democracy. Prime Minister Bainimarama promised to end corruption, promote economic growth and ease racial and religious tensions. While he is said to rule with a “heavy-hand,” voter turnout is up to 84 percent and reserved seats and special privileges for ethnic or religious groups in parliament are denied. The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) is also investigating many cases of corruption and working for better transparency within the government.

Unfortunately, FICAC lacks adequate resources to perform the number of investigations needed and some legislations are viewed as rushed, without due process. However, the Parliament is trying to be more transparent with live broadcasts of sessions, meeting notes and budgets posted for the public to see. The democracy of Fiji is taking action to acknowledge the Fijians.

The development experienced by Fiji is prompting investors to see it as an investment opportunity. The development allows for the people to experience more advantages such as freedom of religion and academy. Hinduism is openly recognized and no attacks on temples have occurred recently. Education can be sought without religious or ethnic bias, but limited resources lower the quality of institutions. Growth is evident within Fiji, allowing for further industries to emerge and prosper within the economy.

International trade was also restored with the emergence of democracy. China is a main trade partner, engaging in international trade and also contributing key foreign aid. The World Bank, European Union and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have invested in the water, water waste, roads and transportation sectors since Fiji’s return to democracy.

As a developing nation, the growth of infrastructure in Fiji has shown great promise for foreign investment and industries. This progress has benefited the locals that occupy the islands and tourists who visit. It has contributed to improving the overall quality of life within Fiji.

– Bronti DeRoche

Photo: Flickr

Strengthening Infrastructure in Nigeria for a Better FutureNigeria is often considered a bright spot of growth in Africa.  It is a populous, increasingly urban country with a relatively strong economy.  This can be attributed in no small measure to its infrastructure. Infrastructure in Nigeria is fairly advanced by Africa’s standards.  Its roads and power grid cover much of the country.  However, the current infrastructure will not be able to support the economic aspirations of Nigeria or its growing population.

Of Nigeria’s nearly 200 thousand kilometer road network, 67 percent is made up of local roads that are often unpaved.  Of the federally-owned roads, about 40 percent are in need of repair.  As roads are becoming the favored mode of transportation in Nigeria, upgrades of roads become essential.  Unfortunately, Nigeria’s government has historically placed more emphasis on constructing new roads than on maintaining existing ones.

Another point of concern for infrastructure in Nigeria is its power grid.  While extensive, it currently doesn’t even generate enough electricity to meet 50 percent of demands. The majority of Nigerians still lack electricity.  Much of the electricity comes from fairly expensive and inefficient diesel power generation. Power outages are common.

In the major urban zones, transportation is often a serious issue.  Traffic in the largest cities, such as Lagos, can exceed two hours.  Given that over half of Nigeria’s population already lives in urban zones, this number is expected to rise. Major reforms are needed in these urban areas.

As it stands, Nigeria is not on course to become one of the world’s top 20 economies by 2020.  Much of this has to do with deficiencies in infrastructure in Nigeria.  This has not gone unnoticed by Nigeria’s government which has developed its Vision 20:2020 plan to meet those goals in time.  The government recognizes that it needs to spend more money on infrastructure.  It also needs to procure private and foreign investments in infrastructure.  It is also essential to pass laws to more tightly regulate infrastructure in Nigeria.

Nigeria certainly has its work cut out for it regarding infrastructure.  While the challenges it faces are not minimal, the issues infrastructure in Nigeria faces can be overcome.

– Andrew Revord

Photo: Flickr