Press release

GIZ and UNESCO launch Petra component of the “Employment opportunities for cultural heritage safeguarding in Jordan” project

The UNESCO Amman office and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), hosted a launch event in Petra, commemorating the initiation of a new project. The “Employment opportunities for cultural heritage safeguarding in Jordan” project seeks to promote sustainable socio-economic development through a two-pronged approach, focusing on investing in cultural heritage preservation, while also creating short-term decent job opportunities. 


The project provides short-term employment opportunities to vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees living in host communities located in the vicinity of the Petra World Heritage site and Rihab village. These locations in North and South Jordan are rich in archaeological heritage. On-the-job training will be provided to the CfW beneficiaries, improving their future employability.

Delivering welcoming remarks on behalf of UNESCO, Ms. Cristina Menegazzi, recognized the generous support of GIZ and summarized the impact of the initiative.

By promoting greater community engagement in the rehabilitation and conservation of the heritage sites in Jordan through this initiative, UNESCO aims to encourage local ownership of these sites. As a further benefit, the project aims to ensure that a larger section of the local community benefits from revenue generated by tourism
Cristina Menegazzi

UNESCO is implementing this critical project alongside AVSI, a non-profit organization carrying out development and humanitarian projects throughout the world, with experience in Cash for Work project implementation. Students from the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the German Jordanian University developed the Site Maintenance and Tourism Development Plan (SMTDP) for the project component pertaining to the World Heritage site of Petra. This initiative benefits from the strong technical support provided by the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) and close collaboration with the Department of Antiquities (DoA). In Petra, the project will undertake cleaning of the two upper sides of the Siq’, together with two trails that are targeted for rehabilitation: the Unayshu trail and the back trail from Little Petra to the Monastery.