Minister Ploumen presents Amsterdam bikes to Jordan's Syrian refugees
Minister Lilianne Ploumen is in Jordan where she has handed a first shipment of bicycles to help refugees in the Al Za’atari camp. She also pledged €21 million in support to Syrian refugees, on top of the €126 million that the Netherlands is already giving.
Ploumen, Minister of Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation made the announcement today in Jordan, where she met with the Ministers of Municipal Affairs, Planning and International Cooperation and the mayors of cities that accommodate refugees in the country. “From these conversations it became clear again how the Jordanian community is strained by the influx of refugees. Schools and neighborhood centers are bursting at theirseems, water supply is running out and there is a lot more garbage than before. There is still help needed there; humanitarian aid is also about helping the local communities to cope with the influx of refugees,” said Ploumen.
At the refugee camp Al Za’atari, she handed over a shipment of bicycles that were sent from Amsterdam as part of an aid program. The city made bikes available that had been taken to the depot in Amsterdam West but never retrieved by their rightful owners. Ploumen’s Ministry is financing the project. “Here people can borrow the bicycles to use them as public transport,” said Ploumen. She said Dutch Government experts will be looking with their Jordanian counterparts into setting up a public transport network, better planning of the construction of new buildings and roads and better garbage collection.
They will also discuss improving emergency assistance to refugees. Ploumen said the project might be applicable in other countries. “The problems we’re encountering here are the same that cities in the Netherlands are facing. Our expertise make living here a lot easier. And if we consider that these people will be here for another while, it is important that there is a proper supply network,” she said.