The ILO and UK strengthen their support to social protection in Jordan

New UK funding supports ILO technical assistance to enhance the social security rights of vulnerable workers in the country by extending social security coverage.

Press release | 29 June 2023
AMMAN (ILO News) – Within the framework of the multi-donor programme Estidama++ Fund - Extension of Coverage and Formalization, the Government of the United Kingdom increased its funding to the ILO’s technical assistance within the project by £1.7 million between 2023 and 2025.

Development Director at the British Embassy in Amman Ms. Angela Spilsbury commented that "the UK government is proud to pursue its partnership with ILO to support Jordan's social protection efforts by contributing to technical assistance funding to the Estidama++ programme alongside the Norway and Netherlands governments." She added that "extending social security to vulnerable Jordanian and non-Jordanian workers through the Estidama++ programme and supporting their continuity will protect them from current and future social and economic risks, helping to strengthen resilience in the short and medium term."

In addition, the UK will provide direct financial support of £20 million between 2022 and 2025 to the Social Security Corporation (SSC), which will be administered under SSC's existing governance and delivery systems.

"The National Social Protection Strategy emphasizes the importance of increasing work-related protection and a fair labour market based on decent working conditions and social security. Estidama++ contributes directly to these objectives," said SSC Director-General Dr. Mohammad Tarawneh. "We appreciate the increased technical support of the ILO, and the financial support of the UK, alongside Norway and the Netherlands to expand social protection to vulnerable informal workers, including refugees in the country."

The objective of the programme is to extend social security coverage by reducing the financial barriers to participation (through subsiding contributions for employers and offering coverage rewards to vulnerable informal Jordanian and non-Jordanian workers, including refugees). The intervention seeks to promote registrations in the social security system and help sustain long-term participation in the SSC.

“Estidama++ is an innovative approach to extending coverage to informal workers, currently outside the national social protection system, and to advancing the effective realisation of social security rights,” said ILO deputy regional director for Arab states Mr. Peter Rademaker. “The ILO is pleased to provide technical, operational and financial support to the design and implementation of this multi-donor project,” he added.

The new funding increases UK support to the ILO’s technical assistance within the Estidama++ Fund, from £300,000 under an MoU signed earlier this year, to a total of £2 million. This is in addition to UK’s provision of direct financial support to workers (totalling £20 million) which SSC manages.

Both funding mechanisms are part of the UK’s five-year flagship social protection programme, Strengthening Societal and Economic Resilience in Jordan (SSERJ), which supports the Government of Jordan in building inclusive and sustainable safety net systems and implement the National Social Protection Strategy that protects the most vulnerable people in society, leading to enhanced resilience.

Estidama++ was officially launched in June 2022, targeting informal workers, who fall through social protection gaps. The fund promotes registering wage workers in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and self-employed workers in key sectors. The project fosters labour market integration and strengthens workers' access to social insurance benefits such as work injury insurance, unemployment, maternity, and other core social security benefits.

For more information on the ILO and UK’s Memorandum of Understanding, please visit the following link