THE HASHEMITE FUND FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE JORDAN BADIA

Following a decree by his Majesty King Abdullah II in 2003, the Hashemite Fund for the Development of Jordan Badia (HFDJB) was established, with the objective of developing the Jordan Badia, the arid areas encompassing much of Jordan's land. The overall aim of the fund is to improve the socio-economic conditions in the Badia by building the capacities of local communities, and by implementing well-planned projects in various relevant sectors.
 
The strategy of the Fund includes both direct and indirect involvement in development activities taking place in the Badia. The Fund itself implements selected community-based projects in different parts of the Badia to improve the socio-economic conditions of local also implement development projects in the Badia.

THE PROJECT

The project aims to enhance the Socio-economic status of Wadi Araba and contribute to poverty alleviation by enhancing the prospects for tourism in the Wadi and surrounding areas. It also aims to better explore, conserve, and interpret a major cultural heritage site in southern Jordan. Bier Mathkour provides an excellent venue for sustainable economic development though both ecotourism and archaeological tourism, due to the Wadi's breathtaking natural landscapes and its many historical and archaeological sites. Most important is the fact that Bier Mathkour itself lies along the famed and ancient incense Route, which crossed Wadi Araba from Petra en route to Gaza. The site contains a Roman fort, bathhouse, several caravan stations, towers, and other ancient building ruins. Smaller sites in the surrounding area have also been discovered and are believed to support the ancient trade in aromatics and spices. Sites along the Incense Route in the Negev desert to the West have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, thus it reasonable to assume that the sites along the Jordanian side of Wadi Araba may be developed and elevated to World Heritage status as well. This would increase the interest in Bier Mathkour and Wadi Araba as tourism destinations

Project Objectives:

1.  Improve the Socio-economic structure for the region
2.  Contribute to reduce the high poverty rate in this area 
3.  Increase the volume of tourism in the area as well as increasing the beneficiaries from the community
4.  Activate partnership within the local community
5.  Integrate tourists and the local community