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Fakhoury discusses refugee response with UK minister

By JT - Feb 06,2017 - Last updated at Feb 06,2017

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury holds talks with UK Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel in Amman, on Monday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury met on Monday with UK Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel, according to a statement from the ministry.

Fakhoury and Patel discussed the European initiative to hold an international conference in Brussels in April to bolster support for countries hosting refugees, as well as strategies to realise pledges made at the London donor conference held in February 2016.

They also discussed following up on the London and Helsinki conferences on supporting Syrian refugees and the region, in addition to the Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria 2017 and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan 2017-2018.

Fakhoury outlined the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) 2017-2019 and means to increase international support for it, including the EU-Jordan Compact, urging the international community to honour pledges made during London’s conference by increasing aid for 2017 and the coming years.

Jordan hosts over 1.3 million Syrians, according to the latest population census. The UNHCR says 655,895 Syrians in Jordan are registered with it as refugees.

The minister reiterated that only 54 per cent of the total required aid to support the JRP projects and programmes during 2016 was provided, although this represented an increase compared to previous years, when only a third was provided.

The funding shortfall, however, stands at 45 per cent, said Fakhoury, stressing the importance of supporting Jordan to sustain its role in providing services to both refugee and host communities.

He highlighted the need for cooperation to encourage UK and EU investment in Jordan, which will benefit from recent trade agreements.

 As well as other free trade agreements between the Kingdom and several other countries, a recent agreement simplified the rules of origin for Jordanian products in the EU markets. 

Fakhoury also stressed the importance of providing technical support to existing industrial investments in Jordan, facilitating their connection with the EU private sector.

For her part, Patel praised the pivotal role of Jordan in serving refugees on behalf of the world through a holistic approach to the crisis.

She stressed the UK’s keenness to continue supporting Jordan to implement its economic correction programmes and the JRP 2017-2019. 

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