General Background

Near the end of the 1980s, the concept of social work in Jordan had begun to expand, growing from its initial form of merely providing charitable donations to the less fortunate to encompass the more comprehensive goal of empowering families in need to depend on themselves and to achieve self-sufficiency. During this conceptual shift, the need for a specialized committee, capable of providing population data and addressing population issues from a developmental perspective, became apparent.

 

Based on the close relationship between population issues and national development concerns, in 1973, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma Bint Talal (The  Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), submitted a proposal to the government of Jordan to establish the Jordanian National Population Commission (JNPC). HRH Princess Basma’s proposal was adopted immediately, with its General Secretariat to be hosted by JOHUD. In 1988, the Jordanian government developed a General Secretariat for the Jordanian National Population Commission, acting as the Commission’s executive arm.

 

In 1994, HRH Princess Basma initiated a restructuring of the JNPC and, through concerted efforts with relevant parties, Jordan′s first National Population Strategy was soon launched in 1996. Upon the strategy’s ratification by the government, JNPC was officially deemed the national focal point and coordinating body for all population-related programs, as well as the official source for related information.

 

As a result of HRH persistent efforts to strengthen Jordan’s cooperation and coordination with regional and international bodies concerned with population issues, in 2001, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) appointed HRH Princess Basma as a Goodwill Ambassador. She is also the Honorary President of the Jordanian Association for Family Planning and Protection, a local NGO.

 

In December 2002, in recognition of its expanded role and responsibilities, the JNPC was renamed the Higher Population Council (HPC) and was presided over by the Prime Minister. In 2012, the HPC was reconstituted under the chairmanship of the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. The HPC is empowered with the authority to direct national efforts in the pursuit of sustainable development, striving to create a balance between population growth and social and economic resources.

 

HRH Princess Basma remains an integral figure within the HPC, as she continues to oversee HPC activities as well as to monitor its progress. HRH continuously underlines the important role that youth play in bringing about sustainable development, she is a strong proponent of supporting young people in the achievement of and investment in the ‘Demographic Opportunity,’ which represents a core component of HPC policies. The Princess has emphasized that understanding and preparing for the ‘Demographic Opportunity’ is key in reaching a smaller dependency ratio (i.e. ratio of dependents to working-age population); this would create a demographic potential for higher economic growth, as favorable dependency ratios tend to boost the progress of economic and social development.

For an overview of Her Highness page: Click here

 

The Higher Population Council Members

  • President of the Higher Population Council: Minister of Planning and International Cooperation
  • Six active ministers (from the following ministries: Labor; Health; Awqaf and Islamic Affairs; Social Development; Education; and Higher Education and Scientific Research)
  • Secretary General of the Higher Council for Youth
  • General Manager of the Vocational Training Corporation
  • Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women
  • Director General of the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation
  • President of the National Center for Human Resources Development
  • Secretary General of the Higher Population Council
  • Two members representing the private sector