Jordan is one of the driest countries on earth and draws the majority of its water from non-renewable resources. (percentage of native water vs not). Aging infrastructure placed additional pressure on water resources and impeded access for the Jordanian population even before the massive influx of refugees from the war in Syria. Now faced with sharply increased demands, lack water has become a primary threat to the stability and security of the country.
A country without reliable and adequate access to water for its population is at great risks from regional conflict or economic changes that might threaten its supply. Coupled with an inefficient and wasteful system for accessing water, this lack of water security diminishes the country's ability to advocate for itself in the international arena and protect the health of its population. As a basic requirement of survival, adequate access to water is foundational to national sovereignty.
Historically, Jordan has been a welcoming destination for refugees. Successfully integrated refugees have greatly expanded Jordan's human capital. However, each wave of refugees has placed an additional burden on the country’s infrastructure and resources especially when extremely large numbers of refugees have arrived in a short period of time.
Jordan is currently facing an enormous influx of refugees, mostly from the conflict in Syria, placing severe strain on the country's resources and impacting its quality of life. Pressures on Jordan include economic (e.g., increased rent in urban areas, unemployment, etc.), cultural (e.g., declining national literacy rates as undereducated refugees enter the workforce), and resource (e.g., water as noted above, state services, etc.) strains. Finding ways to support refugees and enlist the capabilities they bring with them will both relieve the crisis and strengthen Jordan's sovereignty.
Jordan produces only a tiny fraction of the energy it consumes, and its demands for energy will only increase. The country’s current lack of fuel, and its longer-term lack of reliable sources of energy is an impediment to development, a risk to security and stability, and a limitation on national sovereignty.
Jordan current faces a fuel shortage, and its dependence on outside energy threatens its stability and sovereignty in three major ways. Jordan is at risk of having its energy supply interrupted by regional conflict, is at a negotiating disadvantage with any country it relies on for energy, and its ability to grow economically is limited by capital flowing out of the country to purchase energy.
Jordan faces two distinct unemployment challenges. First, despite a highly educated population, unemployment stands at 15.8% due to limited growth in professional sectors. Second, the influx of refugees desperate for employment increases competition for jobs at all levels.
High levels of unemployment place huge demands on Jordanian social services, limit national productivity, and contribute to national anxiety and instability. The less productive Jordan is, the less secure the country. Reducing unemployment is a key factor in building a more prosperous and sovereign nation.
Jordan has been unable to implement effective and widespread e-Governance programs. Unsolved challenges include high start-up costs, poor internet infrastructure and access, and the need for continual maintenance of electronic systems. Additionally, the Jordanian public becomes slow to adopt e-Governance despites its advantages, reportedly because of concerns about government handling of private personal information.
Without effective e-Governance, Jordan will become increasingly unable to manage its complex and modernizing society. This will restrict opportunities for the Jordanian population, make the country more vulnerable to political exploitation and corruption, and reduce Jordan's ability to compete in a fast moving international arena. Effective e-Government is key to public life and national sovereignty in the 21st century.