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HCD partners with Ministry of Water to boost disability inclusion in water sector

Jordan Daily – Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, Lord Chamberlain and President of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), and the Minister of Water and Irrigation, Eng. Raed Abu Soud, has signed a memorandum of understanding at HCD’s headquarters, today, seeking to enhance the active involvement, inclusion, and development of the capabilities of persons with disabilities within the National Water Internship Program.

According to a press release , the memorandum aims to coordinate and direct efforts to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities in the water sector and improve the services provided to them. Also, the memorandum aims to improve the access of persons with disabilities to water sector services and facilities in line with disability access requirements and building codes.

Moreover, the memorandum promotes the provision of all data and information in accessible formats to enable persons with disabilities to access and understand all relevant material and information, on an equal basis with others without disabilities.

As part of the memorandum, a group of young people with disabilities will be trained to join the National Water Internship Program, launched by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation with the support of USAID Water Governance Activity (WGA).

The Prince emphasized the importance of the internship program, highlighting its pivotal role in nurturing young individuals and seamlessly integrating them into water sector entities. He underscored the need for mainstreaming the inclusion of young people with disabilities in building and developing sector institutions through specialized training programs, fostering their skills in a professional environment, and equipping them with advanced technical and managerial abilities to enhance performance and address challenges.

From his part, the Minister of Water and Irrigation, Engineer Raed Abu Al-Saud, stressed the interest of the water sector in expanding the horizons of cooperation with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by enabling them to enhance efforts to spread water awareness and lead change in water conservation and rationalization of consumption.

He added that persons with disabilities have an important role in achieving the goals and aspirations of the water sector, especially since water is an essential element in national development.

Abu Al-Saud pointed to the challenges facing the water sector, stressing the importance of the role played by people with disabilities in bringing about change among various segments of society. He explained that the water sector included within its national strategy 2023-2040 a special goal related to people with disabilities (involving people with disabilities in the water sector in All levels and increase their employment) to be active partners with the rest of society in facing water challenges.

The Minister of Water and Irrigation appreciated the efforts of the Higher Council and the implementation of he related policies, as well as the efforts of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its continued support for such initiatives.

USAID/Jordan Mission Director Leslie Reed noted, “This signing is an important step toward fostering inclusivity and integration within the water sector. It also underscores a shared commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and rights for youth and persons with disabilities.”

It is worth mentioning that the USAID WGA aims to continue supporting the water sector to achieve sustainable development by providing the necessary technical support to launch institutional reform initiatives and develop strategies and public policies for the water sector and their implementation, in addition to building the capacities of workers in the sector.

Also, USAID WGA aims to improve the performance of institutions operating in the water sector by reducing water loss, increasing water supply efficiency, and improving cost recovery.

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