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39m Canadian dollars to fund two economic growth projects in Jordan

By Merza Noghai - Jan 31,2016 - Last updated at Feb 01,2016

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury speaks to Canadian Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — Jordan and Canada on Sunday signed a cooperation agreement under which the latter will fund two sustainable economic growth projects in the Kingdom worth 39 million Canadian dollars (some JD19.8 million).

Funds allocated for those two projects will be withdrawn from a total of 185 million Canadian dollars pledged by former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper during his visit to Jordan in January 2014, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury said at the signing ceremony.

The sum is dedicated to helping Jordan face development challenges resulting from the repercussions of the Syrian refugee influx, the minister added.

Fakhoury and Canadian Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of the Jordanian and Canadian governments.

"The Canadian government will provide up to C$19.85 million to support [the] 'Sustainable Economic Development through Renewable Energy Project'," Fakhoury noted.

He added that the project will be implemented in cooperation with Cowater International Inc. and in partnership with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, which will contribute an additional sum of 2 million Canadian dollars to the project.

The scheme, to be implemented over four years, aims at improving living conditions and livelihoods of residents of the Jordan Valley and Ajloun by introducing efficient energy solutions and renewable energy into households; thus reducing families' expenditure on energy and increasing the chances of finding resources of income, Fakhoury explained.

It also seeks to increase skills and job opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Jordan, the minister added.

"More than 162.000 people will benefit directly of this project in the Jordan Valley and Ajloun areas," he noted.

As for the second project, Fakhoury said the Canadian government will provide up to 19.1 million Canadian dollars to the project of Enterprises' Development in the Jordan Valley, in cooperation with the Canadian MEDA Group.

The project aims at building the capacities of women and young entrepreneurs to enable them to start successful businesses, the minister added.

"The project targets the three sectors of food processing, tourism and clean technology, which were identified through intensive consultations with the locals," Fakhoury highlighted.

He noted that the project seeks to engage 50,000 women and young men from the Jordan Valley and economically connected governorates.

The minister thanked the Canadian government on behalf of the Jordanian government for its support.

For her part, Bibeau underlined her understanding of the burdens borne by Jordan as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees, saying the situation "greatly affects hosting communities, in addition to… the Jordanian economy".

 

"We know how hard it is for you to welcome so many refugees; it is hard to provide all those services, and we are delighted to help," the Canadian minister added.

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