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Gov’t approves US grant agreements, minutes of Jordan-Egypt joint panel

Ministers discuss challenges facing phosphate company

By JT - Sep 08,2016 - Last updated at Sep 08,2016

AMMAN — The Council of Ministers on Wednesday approved four US grant agreements valued at $786.8 million as part of the economic aid programme for 2016, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The agreements are scheduled to be signed with the US before the end of September, which marks the end of the American financial year, Petra reported, adding that $25 million is added to the grants' value for Jordan through a soft-loan mechanism launched last April by the UN, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. 

Accordingly, the total funding provided by the US to Jordan amounts to $812 million in 2016, up by $212 million from the initial value of economic aid listed in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that governs US aid to the Kingdom during 2015-2017, signed last February. The figure hit the historical record of US aid to Jordan.

Of the $812 million, $470 million is earmarked to support the state budget and the funds are expected to be transferred to the Treasury before the end of the year. 

A total of $100 million will be allocated to the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project while the rest will be used for development sectors including health, education, water, investment and infrastructure through projects implemented by the USAID directly. 

During Wednesday’s session, the Cabinet approved the minutes of the 26th session meetings of the Joint Jordanian-Egyptian Higher Committee and the 13 MoUs, executive programmes and protocols singed during the meeting. 

Also on Wednesday, the Cabinet discussed a report on the performance of Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), which has recorded a series of losses, mostly blamed on a drop in price on international markets.

 

The report revealed that the JPMC has in recent years faced a set of internal and external challenges that affected its results, Petra reported, adding that the Council of Ministers discussed those challenges and proposed solutions, referring the report to Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif for further study, to be sent back to the company with recommended solutions. 

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