Jordan signs concessional loan, two grants from EBRD worth 33 million euros
Amman– The government on Wednesday signed financial agreements with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) worth 33 million euros, a statement from the Planning and International Cooperation said.
The agreements aim to finance the implementation of the project “West Irbid Wastewater Network” Planning and international Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury said.
They include a concessional loan in the amount of 25 euros million from the Bank, a grant from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF) worth 5.9 million euros, and grant from the Concessional Financing Facility CFF worth 2.3 million euros, according to the statement.
Fakhoury and Heike Harmgart, EBRD Regional Head of the Eastern Mediterranean and Head of the Resident Office in Amman signed the agreement in the presence of Water Minister Hazem el Nasser and EU Ambassador to Jordan Andrea Fontana.
Fakhoury said that an additional grant of 20 million euros approved by the EU Regional Trust Fund (Madad) on December 6, 2017 will be signed later bringing the total amount of this concessional financing to 53.2 million euro.
The project will finance the construction of first time wastewater services to approximately 75,000 inhabitants of 15 towns in the West of Irbid, 18 per cent of whom are Syrians, said the statement.
The minister voiced appreciation for EBRD in Jordan describing it as “a true success story, which translated into concrete projects on the ground supporting key sectors/areas in Jordan”. He said that since 2012, EBRD has committed about $1 billion for investments in various sectors; 87 per cent are private sector operations mainly in renewable energy (wind and solar) in addition to sovereign and sub-sovereign financed operations.
He pointed out that Jordan, as the first country in the region, will be hosting the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors and Bank’s Business Forum in Jordan/Dead Sea on 8-10 May 2018, with the participation of representatives of 65 countries.
For his part, El-Naser stressed the importance of this financing which is part of the Jordan Response Plan 2018-2020 and will improve the local sanitation conditions in 15 large towns in western Irbid, protect valuable groundwater sources in that area, and eventually contribute to increased treated wastewater for use in agriculture in the Jordan Valley thus allowing the release of more freshwater (currently used in agriculture) for municipal use.
Harmgart said: “We are delighted to continue our strong partnership with Water Authority of Jordan and to help the government advance its resilience and refugee response programme. The EBRD’s investment will enable remote areas to be connected for the first time to the wastewater network; this will not only benefit the local community but also Syrian refugees living in Jordan. These projects will help relieve strained municipal services in Irbid and strengthen the resilience of the country as a whole.”
According to data from the ministry, the fund’s council has approved projects for Jordan worth 211 million euros, focusing on supporting education, child protection, training and higher education, improving access to health care, livelihoods and improving infrastructure in the fields of water and sanitation, of which 104 million euros are awarded for projects in the infrastructure sectors such as water and sanitation as well as education.
Source: Jordan News Agency