On Monday the 24th of October Queen Mathilde of Belgium will go to Amman, the capital of Jordan, she will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander de Croo who also serves as Minister for Development Cooperation.
The visit to Jordan comes after a visit from King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan this May following an invitation from King Philippe of Belgium. The two families have sought to boost ties between the two countries and their leaders. During the May visit, King Abdullah held talks with King Philippe and met the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, among other senior Belgian officials.
The visit from Queen Mathilde to Jordan will focus on the issue surrounding refugees from the war in Syria, which has been ongoing since 2011 and has displaced three million people. 608,000 have fled to Jordan, while many others have fled to European countries. Queen Mathilde will also be visiting to talk about the humanitarian aid that Belgium provides to Jordan to help support the growing numbers of refugees fleeing to the country.
Queen Mathilde and the Minister will visit humanitarian workers working in the region as well as local communities. The Queen, acting in her capacity as UN Counselor for Sustainable development will also focus on the issue of education and children’s health, all which are major issues for those fleeing Syria. As well as that, there will be a focus on the economic empowerment of women, all things which are important to Queen Mathilde both personally and in her role as UN Counselor.
Belgium’s humanitarian budget has increased from 150 million in 2015 to 170 million in 2016. Nearly a third of this money goes towards the humanitarian needs of those involved in the conflict, funding both Belgian and international NGO’s as well as other humanitarian organizations.