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Jordan is the first Arab country to achieve the UN classification for its Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team

23 May 2013 - Jordan’s Civil Defense Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) has achieved the UN classification as a heavy USAR team. This classification comes as a result of more than six years of continued cooperation between SDC and the Jordan Civil Defense that aimed at minimizing human loss caused mainly by earthquakes through building up JCD’s capacity of searching and rescuing in urban settings.



JCD celebration 2013
Through SDC, Switzerland has been committed to providing capacity building for Jordan’s USAR team to be fully equipped and ready in times of natural disasters.

The cooperation between SDC and JCD will be maintained after the end of the classification to ensure the team’s sustainability, readiness, and effectiveness.<>

The JCD Search and Rescue Team has shown a strong commitment for the achievement of the UN- INSARAG classification. It is the first team of an Arab country that has been classified with heavy strength in Urban Search and Rescue. I am proud of what has been achieved by the Jordan Civil Defense and would like to convene my congratulations to all participants. SDC in Amman is looking forward on the continuing cooperation with the Jordan Civil Defense.” Beat von Däniken, SDC Regional Director.

Fact and figures

·         In 1927 major earthquake hit Jordan damaging nearly all houses with more than one story in the city of Salt

·         Current estimates predict a major earthquake in Jordan roughly every 100 years

·         Amman, Zarqa and Irbid, the three largest cities of Jordan are located within an area of more not more than 30km from the fault line that house around 70% of Jordan’s population.

·         In 2001, Jordan and Switzerland signed a cooperation agreement in Disaster Relief and Preparedness that resulted in the classification of JCD Search and Rescue Team in May 2013.   

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The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is a part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is part of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research