Country Representative

A message from Robert Jenkins

Two men walking

Welcome Note

Jordan has made remarkable progress for children and their well-being over the last couple of decades. There has been a steady decline in infant, child and maternal mortality, almost universal access to primary education and a 95 per cent nationwide vaccination rate.

However, this progress has not yet reached every child and a number of political and economical challenges in recent years have threatened to halt, or even undo, some of this important progress. The onset of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2011 has put significant strain on the country’s national system, including health and education. A massive two thirds of the population is under 30 - yet the country struggles with high youth unemployment. Population growth is putting a strain on already scarce water resources, as climate change exacerbates the situation. Families slipping into poverty are in need of a social security net. An unacceptable number of children face violence in their homes, schools and communities. 

UNICEF is committed to supporting the Government of Jordan to strengthen national systems so that every child fulfil their potential and contribute positively to society.

Over the period 2018-2022 we will focus on ending child poverty and violence against children, giving children the best start to life with expanded Kindergarten access, boosting water security and ensuring climate change is high on the national agenda, providing youth with meaningful engagement opportunities, and building a social security net to help the most vulnerable families. 

Working with the Government, UN, development partners and civil society, this work will play a crucial part in achieving Jordan’s Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Robert Jenkins Biography

Robert Jenkins joined UNICEF in 1995. He has over 20 years of experience in international development programming in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Prior to his appointment in Jordan, Mr Jenkins served as Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Strategy in UNICEF Headquarters. Mr Jenkins has also served with UNICEF in Uganda, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and Mozambique.

He has a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Bath and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics. He is a Canadian citizen.