Jordan Acted

Supporting livelihoods through Cultural Heritage Rehabilitation at Pella Heritage Site, Irbid Governorate

Amman, September 2023 – Thanks to the European Union’s financial support, and in close cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Department of Antiquities, Acted, in collaboration with UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), worked to improve the livelihoods of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in Irbid Governorate, while enhancing access to heritage sites.

Under this project, rehabilitation and maintenance work were carried out at the Pella archaeological site, preserving Jordan’s rich cultural heritage while creating short-term employment opportunities for the most vulnerable members of the local community. Pella is an ancient city consisting of ruins from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods mostly, but also other ancient periods. It is located in the Northeast of Jordan, and lies on the Jordan Trail, a long-distance path popular with tourists and hikers, bearing significant potential to become a popular destination for visitors.


Rehabilitation work included ordering and protecting the ancient stones and the site from rainwater runoffs, installing fences to protect the site from potential damage, and creating and restoring trails for visitors to explore the site. Through the project, 251 workers benefitted from short-term employment opportunities and valuable on-the-job training. A Post-Employment survey revealed that 99% of the workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their hiring party and working tools, and that 97% would recommend their friends and relatives to apply to similar working opportunity.


Overall, the project aimed to ensure dignified and sustainable livelihoods for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in the cultural heritage sector, and to raise awareness within Pella’s community on the importance of preserving cultural sites to improve long-term economic opportunities. Some of the workers have been approached to continue working on similar preservation projects in the future. During the closing ceremony of the project, that took place in Pella on the 5th of September 2023, stakeholders involved in the project looked back on all the work that had been done by workers. Some of them notably recalled: “This project provided us, as unemployed youth, with an opportunity to gain many life skills and experience in the workplace”.

Acted is pleased to have worked with UNESCO and the ILO on this project and contribute to both the preservation of Jordan’s cultural heritage and the support to the livelihoods of vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees in the area.

Press contact

Acted: Santiago Alexander – Acted Jordan Country Director / 25, Ahmad Shawqi Street Jebal, Alweibdeh, 11194 Amman / / + 962 (0) 79 875 4731

UNESCO: Eyad Batshon – Communication and visibility officer / 9, Yacoub Ammari Street, Abdoun, 11181 Amman / / + 962 (0)79 121 4 989 ; + 962 (0)6 59 02 340 Ext. 330

Pella site before renovation work, Pella, March 2023
Cash for workers working on renovation work, Pella, May 2023 [Source: Acted 2023]
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