AMMAN/ SYDNEY, Thursday 27 June 2019: UNICEF’s Hajati cash assistance is effective at keeping the most vulnerable children in Jordan in school and preventing drop out, a new study has shown. The programme supported 10,000 children in the 2018-19 academic year.
Hajati is an unconditional cash transfer for some of the most vulnerable families in Jordan whose children are registered in double shift schools. The programme is accessible to all children, irrespective of nationality or status, with each eligible child receiving 20JD (US$28) a month during the school term.
Data released today shows that Hajati is effective for both children’s education and their overall social economic wellbeing, as well as offering a protective measure against harmful coping mechanisms, including child labour and early marriage.
When comparing children receiving Hajati with a sample of the 45,000 children who stopped receiving the assistance in 2018 due to funding constraints faced by UNICEF, the study found:
- 78 per cent of children receiving Hajati are attending school regularly.
- However, more than 1 in 4 children who no longer receive Hajati, are now missing school;
Children who receive Hajati are 25 per cent more likely to be planning to complete their secondary education;
- Average school expenditure, including stationery and allowances, is 23 per cent lower in non-Hajati families;
- Children no longer in the programme are 34 per cent more likely to go to bed hungry;
- The risk of a child engaging in child labour rises 26 per cent when compared to children receiving Hajati;
- Low self-esteem is 46 per cent more prevalent in children not receiving the assistance
“Education is a powerful tool to break the cycle of poverty for children, families and communities,” said Ettie Higgins, acting Representative, UNICEF Jordan. “UNICEF is committed to supporting the Government to provide quality, inclusive education and basic social services for all children, especially the most vulnerable.”
In addition to the Hajati cash assistance, which is largely benefiting refugee children, UNICEF is supporting the expansion of the National Aid Fund to help vulnerable Jordanian children and their families. UNICEF is working closely with the Ministry of Education to increase the number of Kindergarten, primary and secondary school places, as well as continuing to provide non-formal education pathways to help out-of-school children return to the classroom.
The UNICEF Hajati programme is generously supported by the governments of Italy and the Netherlands, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, US PRM and Australian Aid.
UNICEF is appealing for an additional US$25 million to support formal and informal education and Hajati cash assistance for children in 2019.