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EBRD to help refugee hosts with ‘exceptional grant’ upon Jordan request

By JT - May 14,2016 - Last updated at May 14,2016

AMMAN — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has made “an exceptional decision” to provide Jordan with a share in a 100-million-euro grant extended to support countries affected by the Syrian crisis.

In a statement, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said Saturday the new assistance was decided during EBRD’s board of governors and business forum 25th annual meeting, which concluded in London late last week. 

Fakhoury, who participated in the meeting in his capacity as Jordan's governor in the bank, said that the EBRD board of governors decided to hold the next annual meeting in Jordan. 

The minister stressed the importance of taking part in the annual meeting since Jordan is a member of the bank and receives investments and aid from the financial institution, according to the ministry statement. 

During the meeting, the EBRD’s governors went over a set of issues related to the work of the bank, conducting an evaluation of the bank’s performance for the past 25 years and discussing its strategic executive plan for 2016-2018. 

The grant came as a response to a request by the Planning Ministry and a follow-up on the outcomes of the February London donor conference, Fakhoury said, thanking the board of governors and the EBRD administration for the move. 

Discussions also covered the fields of work that the EBRD should focus on in the upcoming 25 years and the possibility of having new members join the bank, especially from the region like Lebanon, Algeria and the Palestinian National Authority. 

During the meeting, EBRD’s board of governors re-elected Sir Suma Chakrabarti as president of the bank for a second four-year term.

Fakhoury highlighted cooperation between Jordan and EBRD in the past years, describing it as “a success story” as far as Jordan is concerned, especially as the Kingdom and the region are going through tough times. He noted that the bank’s programmes in Jordan have been designed to help the private sector in vital fields such as renewable energy, tourism, solid waste, and medium and small enterprises. 

The minister briefed the shareholders on the latest developments in Jordan and on the mounting impact of regional crises, stressing the Kingdom’s appreciation for the EBRD’s commitment to its active role in responding to the Syrian refugee crisis and enhancing the resilience of host communities. 

He also underlined the importance of the support from the international community to continue implementing vital projects within the framework of the Jordan Response Plan 2016-2018. 

Fakhoury noted that EBRD’s portfolio in Jordan exceeds $670 million, 90 per cent of which has been dedicated to assist private enterprises. 

Bilateral meetings

 

On the sidelines of the annual meeting, Fakhoury held meetings with the EBRD president and several senior officials and discussed with them prospects of cooperation in the present and the future. 

They discussed potential projects in the sectors of water, sewage, solid waste and public transportation. 

Talks also covered the bank’s future interests in Jordan. 

For their part, the EBRD executives renewed their support for Jordan’s efforts in regard to the reform process, highlighting the importance of aiding the Kingdom through soft funding for top-priority projects. 

 

Fakhoury also held bilateral meetings with the US, the UK and European delegates taking part in the annual meeting, and discussed with them ways to enhance bilateral relations, the statement said. 

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