Target the most vulnerable to accelerate progress for children in Jordan: UNICEF

UNICEF analysis shows that targeted investment in the most vulnerable locations could accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs in the next decade

04 February 2020

AMMAN, 4 February 2020: Making immediate, critical, targeted investments in the most vulnerable communities in Jordan could rapidly accelerate progress for children and move the country further towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next decade, according to UNICEF’s Geographic Multidimensional Vulnerability Analysis launched today.

The analysis uses existing national data and geographic mapping to take a wide-ranging look at the most critical issues - including education, social protection, health, water, climate change and livelihoods - affecting the well-being of children and the wider population, as well as generating the evidence needed to inform effective policy development and resource allocation.

“The data shows us that, in order to accelerate progress for children and ensure that no child is left behind, the best approach is one that targets the most disadvantaged children living in the most vulnerable communities, regardless of their nationality or status,” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative, UNICEF Jordan.

The analysis, which covers a total of 13 multidimensional socio-economic vulnerabilities affecting children in Jordan, found that:

  • Significant progress has been made over the last decade in the areas of health care and gender parity in early education and primary education, while the Human Development Index has increased by 17.4 per cent since 1990;
  • 15.7 per cent of the Jordanian population live in poverty – and 20.3 per cent of children (under 18 years) are multidimensionally poor;
  • Half of all young women are not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 39 per cent for male and female NEET;
  • Continued expansion of the social protection system is needed to support the most vulnerable children, with linkages to interventions for youth to empower them to transition from social assistance and engage in economic initiatives
  • While student performance is moving in the right direction, further investment is needed to improve the overall quality of education and increase equitable access to early education;
  • Children in Jordan are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The maximum average temperature has increased by 1.3-1.4 °C in the last decade;
  • The country remains one of the most water scarce in the world and urgent investment is needed to promote conservation and reduce the 47.5 per cent of non-revenue water which is lost to leaks, theft or other causes;
  • One-third of children in Jordan have anaemia and on average 7 per cent of children aged 12-23 months sampled have not received any vaccinations, rising to 21 per cent in areas in the south of the country.

“UNICEF is committed to continue working with the Government of Jordan to strengthen the key systems and institutions needed to lift children out of poverty, to ensure boys and girls can grow up healthy, educated and protected in a safe environment, and to empower and engage youth, particularly girls, to become future changemakers,” added Chapuisat.

The Geographic Multidimensional Vulnerability Analysis also includes key recommendations for interventions that can drive the most progress for children, youth and their caregivers, including: further expansion of early childhood education; continued investment in youth economic empowerment; greater coordination between stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of data; and increased evidence to support child-friendly budgeting.

Media Contacts

Claire McKeever

Communications Specialist



UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jordan, visit

Follow UNICEF Jordan on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram