AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston completed today their State visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This visit provided an opportunity for Canada to reaffirm its commitment to Jordan's continued security and stability by collaborating in humanitarian and development assistance. A Canadian delegation of parliamentarians and civil society leaders helped reinforce these objectives.
"I was honoured to be the first Canadian Governor General to conduct a State visit to Jordan. This country is a true partner in the region, including in the fight against extremism and in helping those who are fleeing the horrors of war," said the Governor General when he met with His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein. "Jordanians have caught the world's attention with the brave and compassionate way in which they have reacted to events that continue to devastate the region. Canada is proud to stand by your side in helping to strengthen your communities and to build resilience."
Here are some highlights of the State visit to Jordan.
Syrian Refugees and Impact on the Jordanian Population: Additional Canadian Support to Municipalities
During their visit, Their Excellencies and the delegation visited Zaatari refugee camp to meet with Syrian refugees, to witness the assistance being provided through Canadian and international partners and hear about the difference this support is making in the daily lives of refugees. They then participated in a round-table discussion in Jerash with ministers, mayors and municipal leaders to discuss the pressures put on infrastructure and on the delivery of municipal services when welcoming refugees. At the end of the discussion, Mr. Peter MacDougall, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan, announced two new Canadian contributions. The first one, of $19.6M, will support delivery of municipal services in Jordan through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The second one, of $6.3M, will support World University Service Canada and Canadian Leaders in International Consulting to help empower women to enter the work force in Jordan. Later on during the visit, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston met with two Syrian refugee families, one of which will be leaving Jordan tomorrow to emigrate to Canada.
Increased Cultural Collaboration Through Canada-Jordan Audiovisual Coproduction Agreement
The Governor General met with His Excellency Dr. Hani al-Mulki, Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to discuss Canada's bilateral relations with Jordan. Following their meeting, the Governor General witnessed the signing of an Audiovisual Coproduction Agreement that will allow filmmakers to put together their creative, technical and financial resources and will encourage cultural exchanges and collaboration in creative industries between Canada and Jordan. Canadian producer Niv Fichman and director, writer and actor Paul Gross were present for the signature. On the eve of the agreement's signature, Their Excellencies, the delegation and Amman moviegoers attended the screening of the Canadian movie Hyena Road. During an on-stage conversation, Mr. Fichman, Mr. Gross and Jordanian actors shared their experience of filming the movie in Jordan.
Young entrepreneurs and Innovation Focus to Strengthen the Jordan Economy
The State visit to Jordan also focused on the challenges and opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Jordan. Canadian delegates Victoria Lennox, CEO and Co-Founder of Startup Canada, and Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of Digital Media Zone (Ryerson University), shared their entrepreneurial experiences during a panel discussion at Amman's Business Development Centre which mission is to help young entrepreneurs. This development centre is supported through Canadian funding and aims to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Impact of Canadian Development and Humanitarian Support
Her Excellency saw firsthand the work done by non-governmental organizations active in Jordan through Canadian support. In Hadada, she met with a local woman entrepreneur who was able to open a small shop with the help of CARE International and microfinancing. In Fuheis, she visited Caritas Health Clinic to witness how medical services are being provided to refugees and Jordanian families as a result of Canada's help. These events underscored the role Canadian support plays in improving people's quality of life.
Earlier this year, Canada announced that it will invest $1.6B to strengthen security, humanitarian aid and development in the region, including in Jordan.
Next Stop for the Visit to the Middle East
Their Excellencies and the accompanying delegation will be in Israel from November 1 to 3 where they will have high level meetings and events focusing on innovation and education. They will conclude their visit by going to Ramallah, in the West Bank, on November 4 and 5, 2016.
For the complete remarks by the Governor General or photos and videos of the events that took place in Jordan, visit www.gg.ca.
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SOURCE Governor General of Canada
For further information: Julie Rocheleau, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-7280, 613-302-0249 (cell), [email protected]