Amman: A study was launched by Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies, in collaboration with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, on Tuesday, titled “Social Protection Policies in Jordan: Between the Theoretical Framework and Practicality.”
The study’s main researcher, Ghada al-Salem, said the National Social Protection Strategy did not address many gaps in protections, weakening the implementation of the Jordan Poverty Reduction Strategy in the first place, and did not provide steps to build public sector capacity or combat corruption.
Al-Salem said the study showed the Government’s failure to formulate a gender-sensitive national strategy. Despite the in-depth consultations with many international organizations, women’s social protection needs were not met.
The Government has not put forward the need for a law to regulate social protection programs, benefits, and has failed to provide practical steps to implement visions of programme development, in addition to losing a holistic view of work and implementation at all levels, particularly in the absence of data on poverty.
According to the study, the National Strategy blamed low wages and poor working conditions on migrant workers, while the real causes – which should have been carefully investigated – were mostly due to weak law enforcement and weak regulatory and inspection mechanisms, as well as weak legislation governing the category of migrants.
The National Social Protection Strategy also failed to take into account the rights of refugees and expatriates in Jordan, although they constituted a significant part of the social in Jordan and noted that migrant workers lack collective bargaining rights, and the absence of the right to form new trade unions.
Ghada al-Salem explained that despite the coverage of government and military health insurance for about 3.6 million , there are several challenges, including poor quality, inaccessibility, inhumane treatment of patients, and poor performance of specialized departments and institutions.
The health sector also suffers from weak governance and the multiplicity of regulations and laws on the sector, in parallel with overlapping roles between actors and government institutions.
With regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, the study showed that government actions had a negative impact on the social protection system, as most of the measures – primarily the Defense Orders – came in favour of employers at the expense of workers.