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EBRD loan to support waste management infrastructure in Amman

By JT - Nov 24,2016 - Last updated at Nov 24,2016

The Greater Amman Municipality is facing difficulties due to the rise in waste generation with the influx of Syrian refugees into the capital (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday it is supporting Jordan as the continuing influx of refugees from Syria is putting a massive strain on the Kingdom’s  resources.

A 102-million-euro loan (JD76.4 million) to the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) will finance infrastructure to collect and manage solid waste, which is “urgently needed in the country’s capital”. 

The loan will be provided in two tranches and will include the refinancing of existing debt as well as financing for the most pressing investment needs, given the rapidly increasing volume of waste.

A £5 million (JD4.4 million) investment grant from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) will co-finance the first committed tranche, worth 50 million euros. 

The second uncommitted instalment of up to 50 million euros is expected to be supplemented by an additional amount of up to 50 million euros co-financed by several donors including DFID, the EU, USAID and others, an EBRD statement said.

Jordan hosts around 1.3 million Syrians who have fled their homes, of whom more than 400,000 are living in Amman alone. 

This is creating pressure on municipal services in the capital. 

The EBRD financing will increase the capacity of the city and the municipality to address the most urgent needs as well as to strengthen long-term resilience, the statement said.

Development of solid waste infrastructure is urgently required to address a 25 per cent increase in the levels of waste generation. 

This modernisation will lead to improved services and reduce the environmental and social impact of a sharp rise in the number of people living in and around Amman.

The financing is linked to a comprehensive programme to reform the solid waste sector in the city, with a focus on increasing its operational and financial sustainability and its efficiency. 

The project will be complemented by a comprehensive technical cooperation package to support the GAM in further enhancing its financial management capacity and auditing skills and ensuring successful procurement and implementation of the investment components.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to partner once again with the city authorities of Amman. Our target is to strengthen the city in the face of a serious challenge.” 

“Jordan is highly exposed to a huge humanitarian crisis, which has an impact on the country. In this situation it is imperative that the international community supports Jordan as it deals with the consequences of the crisis,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji said: “We are planning to develop with the EBRD a sustainable and eco-friendly plan to enhance our response to the refugee crisis. This will also include the creation of jobs for the whole population and make Amman an inclusive city that cares about the environment.”

In 2015, the EBRD provided a $ 18 million loan to the GAM to help manage solid waste, generate electricity and reduce CO2 emissions, all of which have substantial environmental impacts.

Jordan became an EBRD shareholder in 2012 and to date the bank has committed $613 million across 29 projects in various sectors of the economy, in addition to $95 million of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.

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