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$4.5m Japanese grant to bolster Kingdom’s border security measures

Fakhoury says two countries finalising new grant in water sector

By JT - Mar 01,2017 - Last updated at Mar 01,2017

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury shakes hands with Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Shuichi Sakurai after signing a grant agreement in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — Jordan and Japan on Wednesday signed a 500 million yen (around $4.5 million) grant agreement, a Planning and International Cooperation Ministry statement said. 

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury signed the grant agreement with Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Shuichi Sakurai.

The deal aims at securing advanced devices and security tools in five border posts to boost defence measures in the Kingdom. 

“This grant comes as a supplemental grant to the one signed during the recent visit of His Majesty King Abdullah to Tokyo end of October last year of 1 billion yen [around $8.8 million] for the Installation of IP Based Facial Recognition CCTV Systems at the Border Crossing Points under the Japanese Programme Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement,” Fakhoury said at the signing ceremony. 

The minister thanked the Japanese government for approving the additional support within a “short period of time”, which he said contributes to enhancing border security, “particularly during these boiling times of regional turbulences and our fight against terrorism and extremism”.

Fakhoury thanked Japan for its financial and technical aid, and said: “We highly value the strategic partnership we enjoy. Japan and Jordan continue to see eye-to-eye on key regional and global issues. The... role that Japan is playing within the international community in support of Jordan is also highly appreciated”.

Since 2009, the Kingdom has received around $1.285 billion in support from Japan, $500.92 million of which was in the form of grants and the rest as soft loans, in addition to technical assistance, mainly through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the ministry said in the statement. 

In 2016, Japan provided Jordan with a soft loan through JICA valued at 30 billion yen (around $254 million) in order to boost the Kingdom’s finances and support development policies to reform public, the statement said, adding that the Japanese governments have always took the lead to support Jordan in economic and social fields. 

“We look forward to not only maintaining but [also] scaling up our cooperation in the future to help us address various challenges that we are facing and to implement priority projects addressing development needs, especially in host communities,” Fakhoury said, adding that “our teams are working on finalising a new grant in the water sector, which we will announce in due time”.

For his part, Sakurai said: “Surrounded by countries which are plagued with unstable security, Jordan has acknowledged that airports and border checkpoints are important facilities to be secured with enhancing inspection and surveillance. However, since last year, some terrorist attacks have occurred.”

The ambassador said Japan, “based on this situation”, decided to extend the new grant, expressing Tokyo’s appreciation of the Kingdom’s “generous humanitarian support to the Syrian refugees in spite of its own economic and social constraints”.

 

“I would like to reiterate that Japan will continue to... [exert] our best efforts to further strengthen the excellent bilateral relations with our best friend Jordan, and I also wish that this new grant would contribute to further development and prosperity for the government and the people of Jordan,” he added.

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