Brussels Conference Approves USD39.7b for Syrian Refugee Host Countries

تم نشره في Sat 8 April / Apr 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Emad Fakhouri -

AMMAN — The Brussels conference on Syria approved aid, grants and loans worth USD39.7 billion, six of which as grants, for the Syrian refugees' host countries including Jordan in 2017.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on Saturday, Minister Emad Fakhouri outlined the outcomes of the conference that was held Wednesday and Thursday last week and was co-chaired by the UN, EU, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the UK with the participation of 70 countries to discuss the future of Syria.

According to Fakhouri, the international community pledged providing Syria's neighbouring countries with USD6 billion as grants, in addition to USD3.7 for 2018-2020, and USD30 billion as loans, USD2.3 billion of which as concessionary loans.

Fakhouri said that participants issued Jordan's Document, which included accomplishments of London conference's commitments, progress achieved in Jordan Compact, and sustaining the international support.

As for financial commitments to Jordan, Fakhouri said that they reached USD2.55 billion as grants and concessionary financing in 2016, and USD1.63 billion as grants to support the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) in 2016, which counts for 61 per cent of the financial requirements estimated to be around USD600.6 million as humanitarian aid, USD646.7 million to enhance host communities' resilience, and USD385 million to support the publics budget.

The document includes more commitments that were agreed on in 2016 and will be implemented in 2017, said the minister, adding that some USD923.6 million have been made available as concessional loans, USD834.6 million to support the national treasury and USD89 million to finance development projects.

Jordan has also benefitted through the document from the concessionary financing facility administered by the World Bank which worth USD78 million as grants to improve the condition of loans to support the Kingdom's priorities in attracting investments, creating jobs, and improving infrastructure.

The document stipulates that the conference's co-chairs completely implement commitment on the basis of the Jordan Compact and to effectively join the efforts to prepare the return of refugees to Syria.

The co-chairs of the conference reaffirmed their long-term political and financial support for Jordan, with recognizing its contribution to the global public good and continuing to transform the refugee challenge into a development opportunity in accordance with the commitments made in the Jordan Compact.

The organizers of the conference reiterated their solidarity with Jordan, including broadening the donor base to include non-traditional donors through leveraging existing mechanisms such as trust funds, including the EU Regional Credit Fund to respond to the Syrian crisis, and seeking to increase concessional financing and overall financial assistance.

The European Union's external investment plan, the World Bank's concessional financing mechanism, are among the available means of financing, and co-financing will be provided under these mechanisms, however, grants remain the preferable option.

The organizers of the Jordan Document also stressed that the Brussels Conference is the first of its kind in a series of events to be held in 2017, which should be used to shape Jordan's approach during the spring and annual meetings of the World Bank / International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum for the Middle East North Africa, the G7, the G20 and the United Nations General Assembly.

The Jordan Document called for the provision of additional resources, including grants, treasury support and concessional financing, in accordance with the Jordan Compact and IMF's recommendations to assist Jordan in dealing with the annual funding gap", including supporting the Kingdom through Concessional Financing Facility (CFF), and providing technical support from the EU and other partners to support Jordan to benefit from the Simplification of Rules of Origin Agreement with the EU, and to attract more investments to the Kingdom's 18 development zones.

The conference stressed support for the Jordanian government's efforts to attract investors to benefit from Jordan's investment opportunities and trade agreements, and to recognize that Jordan and other neighbouring countries are in a position to play a central role in the reconstruction efforts in Syria once a serious, credible process of political transition in Syria is reached.

Under the Jordan Document, the Conference committed to enhance programs that support overall economic growth through technical assistance to expand investment, promote exports and promote public-private partnerships to develop infrastructure and other economic-growth-supporting programs.

The document includes specific programmes to create jobs and for women and youth, as well as the harmonization of skills and technical and vocational training for Syrian host communities and refugees, which will also enable them to contribute to build their country upon their return.

The plan to "accelerate access to quality formal education" for the next three years will continue to be supported in accordance with the Jordan Compact and to be expanded through programs to remove direct barriers of supply and demand, increase participation in formal education at all levels. This includes supporting operational expenses and infrastructure, for example the rehabilitation and / or construction of public schools.

The Jordan Document seeks to provide additional financial and technical support for the implementation of the Jordan Human Resources Development Strategy, based on a comprehensive government action plan and performance management framework, an advanced budget for this plan and intensified efforts to support the wider use of cash as an effective means of delivering services, in order to achieve greater benefit for the Jordanian economy and beneficiaries.

The document also stressed the need to expand the use of national capabilities to implement subsidy projects, continue to maximize monetary assistance and purchase national goods and services in order to add value to the Jordanian economy.