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AFESD to provide a $500 grant for financing priority projects

By JT - Apr 11,2018 - Last updated at Apr 11,2018

AMMAN — Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury said that the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) has agreed on a three-year programme to finance a number of government priority projects.

The remark came during a meeting with AFESD's Director General and Chairman Abdullatif Youssef Al Hamad on the sidelines of the 47th meeting of the Board of Governors of AFESD, which comes as part of the Joint Annual Meeting of the Arab Financial Institutions held at the Dead Sea on Tuesday.

Fakhoury also announced that the fund will increase grants to Jordan and approve a $500,000 grant to finance the second phase of the agricultural census, a Planning ministry statement said on Wednesday.

The minister expressed appreciation for the fund's support, calling for finding new financing mechanisms and increasing grants to assist the Kingdom in implementing its reform programmes and facing challenges stemming out of the Syrian refugee crisis.

For his part, Hamad highlighted AFESD's understanding of Jordan's situation and developments needs.

Between 1975 and 2017, the fund contributed to funding 47 economic and social priority development projects in Jordan, at a total value of $1,914 billion. It also provided $35 million in grants and $130 million in soft loans to fund small-and medium-sized enterprises over the same period, in addition to a $10 million grant to support Syrian refugees' host communities.

Prior to the announcement, Fakhoury chaired a meeting of the supervisory council of private accounts to finance private sector's small and medium enterprises, during which various decisions were taken and the annual report endorsed.

The minister also met with a number of directors of Arab funds with whom he discussed means to boost Jordan's relations with the funds, outlining the economic challenges facing the Kingdom as a result of the regional instability, the statement read.

Fakhoury also met with Director General of the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development Abdulwahab Ahmad Al Bader, to whom he voiced Jordan's appreciation for the Kuwaiti support, especially its contribution to the Gulf countries' grant to the Kingdom and the $1 million grant provided to the King Hussein Cancer Centre.

Al Bader stressed the fund's eagerness to stand by Jordan in securing its priority financial needs and designing a three-year programme to fund capital projects in certain sectors within the general budget.   

Between 1962 and 2017, the Kuwaiti fund contributed to funding socioeconomic projects worth more than $579.5 million through loan agreements, while the total value of grants extended during the same period reached $10.4 million. 

Schemes supported by the fund cover  the areas of energy, education, agriculture, water, roads and sewage networks, according to the statement.

In his meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development (SDF) Yousuf Bin Ibrahim Al Bassam, Fakhoury called for increasing grants and soft loaning to support Jordan macroeconomic reform path.

Al Bassam stressed SDF's keenness on supporting the Kingdom, noting that a technical mission will visit Jordan this month to follow up on current projects supported by the fund. 

According to the ministry’s data, SDF has provided aid worth $488.1 million since 1975, contributing to financing priority development projects in strategic sectors such as energy, sanitation, education, infrastructure and health, in addition to supporting the Jordan Response Plan with $100 million.

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