The ACED Program Awards Two Grants to Enhance the Aqaba Community

18 June 2008

Arabic Version



The ACED Program Awards Two Grants to Enhance the Aqaba Community

The USAID Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) Program celebrated the awarding of its first two grants to Jordan River Foundation (JRF) and Noor AlHussein Foundation (NHF) on June 18, 2008.

The grant signing was held at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) in the presence of H.E Arch Hussni Abu Ghaida (ASEZA Chief Commissioner), H.E. USA Ambassador David Hale, USAID Jordan representatives, and the ACED Program Chief of Party and Staff in addition to the grantees.

The first grant was awarded to Jordan River Foundation to establish the Neighborhood Development Activities initiative, in cooperation with the Local Community Development Directorate of ASEZA. This initiative is the first of its kind to be implemented in Aqaba, which aims to engage the residents in decision making-processes in matters that affect their daily life.

The work is initiated by establishing a voluntary Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) representing the people living in a defined neighborhood. The team works with all partners to identify the needs of the area and to translate those needs into projects and programs based on neighborhood-set priorities.

To date, two NETs were established in Sharqia and Rimmal neighborhoods. These two pilot neighborhoods were chosen based on a survey, taking into consideration the location of the neighborhood, current activities in the area and the presence of NGOs and solidly established social relations among the citizenry.

Noor Al Hussein Foundation received the second grant supporting the launch of the first Micro-Enterprise Incubator in Aqaba to provide prospective entrepreneurs with technical assistance from both virtual and physical presence at the incubator premises. The facility will also provide shared services and business support services for tenants and for other start-up entities doing business in Aqaba.

The physical incubator facility will be a mixed-use facility that will be designed to support mainly light manufacturing, handicraft, and related business service companies. The service component of the incubator will include management coaching and advisory services for micro-enterprise businesses throughout the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

The Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program is a five-year project funded by USAID to benefit the people and businesses of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.