UNDP Jordan and Unilever Partner to Alleviate Poverty, Sustain Decent Work and Economic Growth

August 6, 2018

Members from UNDP Jordan and Unilever and private and public sector representatives during the signing ceremony

Amman, Jordan-July 3rd, 2018: UNDP Jordan announced yesterday a new partnership with Unilever to implement the ‘Baqala Program’ and create long-term employment opportunities for both Jordanians and Syrians through skills development and on the job training.

Developed in partnership with Unilever - owner of global brands such as Knorr, Lipton, Dove, Lifebuoy - the Baqala Program will develop selling and merchandising skills through a 3-month on-the-job training and internship provided by Unilever. The vocational training program Baqala will take place within the governorates of Irbid and Zarqa targeting young Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

“Through this partnership we are looking to support SDGs and Agenda 2030 in Jordan, a step that is highly appreciated by UNDP,” UNDP Jordan Country Director Sara Ferrer Olivella commented during the signing ceremony.

“Economic development is central to the long-term success of businesses and implementing the Baqala Program will create job opportunities and generate rising incomes and thus new market opportunities”, Olivella concluded.

Sanjiv Kakkar, Executive Vice President for Unilever MENA, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus said “Our business contributes to the economic livelihoods of many people and communities across our value chain. Through skills development, increased access to markets and employment, we believe we can help people unlock their potential - so they can support themselves, their communities and our business.”

“The Baqala Program and our partnership with UNDP will support building resilience among vulnerable communities in Jordan while driving economic value.”

In line with Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) and its ambition of enhancing livelihoods of millions, the Baqala Program was first developed by Unilever with the aim of building the capabilities of small grocery owners to run their business in a sustainable and profitable manner and successfully executed in Oman. In 2017, the program was reintroduced with the goal of creating positive social impact through developing merchandising and sales skills of unemployed young people and refugees by providing on-the-job training and internship. UNDP will identify the young beneficiaries, as well as the potential small grocery owners that would benefit from Unilever’s retail management business training. UNDP will manage the selection process, while the trainings will be provided by Unilever.

UNDP and Unilever envision scaling up the Baqala Program by enhancing access to long-term employment opportunities and targeting more vulnerable Jordanians and refugees in different areas in Jordan.