Jordan, US Sign USD787m Grant Agreements

AMMAN — Jordan and the United States on Sunday inked four grant agreements worth USD787 million, as part of the US 2016 economic aid program to the Kingdom.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Imad Fakhouri, who signed the agreements with Jim Barnhart, Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that a further USD25 million will be provided under a concessional financing mechanism launched last year by the United Nations, World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank in order to reduce the cost of borrowing of middle-income countries such as Jordan.

The mechanism came upon a request Jordan had made to the president of the World Bank and donor nations in April 2015, bringing the total US aid to Jordan to USD812 million in 2016, with an increase of USD212 million of the rental value of economic aid set forth in a Memorandum of Understanding that governs the US aid to Jordan during 2015-2017.

The minister noted that the aid will be distributed as the following: a total of USD470 million will be allocated to the General Budget, which is expected to be transferred to the Treasury before the end of 2016, USD100 million will be allocated to the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, while the rest of the aid, totalling USD217 million, will be disbursed to support developmental projects in the sectors.

These sectors include health, education, water, rule of law, governance, civil society, political reform, economic growth, improving economic opportunities, trade and investment, infrastructure, enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector, maternal and child care, population policies, and policies of gender through projects implemented by the US Agency for international development.

Prime Minister, Hani Mulqi, said during the signing ceremony that he appreciated Washington's continued support to the Kingdom. The aid, he said, reflects the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah II to cement ties.

The aid package had a clear impact on Jordan's development process in the various sectors, said the premier, adding that Jordan looks forward to further cooperation between the two countries in the various fields and at all levels, which will have a marked impact on implementing national reform and developmental plans.

US ambassador to Jordan, Alice Wells, said the grant provides more than USD786 million to support Jordan's long-term developmental and growth efforts. It will also assist Jordan to host Syrian refugees in all parts of the Kingdom, she said, noting the additional USD25 million US offer to the World Bank's program of concessional financing to Jordan.


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