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Kingdom secures $2.8b in grants, soft loans so far in 2016

Funding refugee response plan expected to cover 45% of needs

By JT - Dec 05,2016 - Last updated at Dec 05,2016

Imad Fakhoury

AMMAN — Planning and International cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury on Monday said that the total sum Jordan has received in grants for the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to the Syrian crisis 2016-2018 has reached $1.02 billion, accounting for 38.4 per cent of the total plea.

JRP aims to enhance Jordan's resilience and sustain the services provided to host communities and Syrian refugees. 

Donors committed to $700 million grants under the Jordan Compact over 2016-2018 to fund priority projects that target host communities.

The “Jordan Compact”, which was presented at the 2016 London conference, sets out a series of major commitments by donors and Jordan aimed at improving the resilience of refugee and host communities. 

Fakhoury, according to a ministry statement, stressed that the grants came as a result of the London meeting, which “begot additional commitments to the yearly support for the Kingdom to fund the JRP”.

 Of JRP's additional grants, $325.9 million is allocated to cover the additional costs generated from the Syrian refugee crisis, $216 million destined for the refugees and $251 million to implement priority projects that target host communities.

UN organisations such as UNHCR and the World Food Programme have implemented projects targeting the refugees at a cost of $224 million, out of which $194 million was delivered in cash.

Fakhoury said that the total amount of aid is expected to be increased to $1.18 billion with additional grants worth $170 million, noting that support for the JRP is expected to cover 45 per cent of its requirements, compared to the 30 per cent in previous years.

The education sector has received the largest amount of aid compared to other sectors, totalling $146.2 million, the minister explained.

Fakhoury called on donor countries to support the ministry’s education plan  for Syrian refugees, worth $1 billion for 2016-2018, noting that the world’s contribution to the cost of education has covered only 44 per cent.

As for concessional financing, Jordan has been given a financing ceiling to receive long-term soft loans worth $1.9 billion over three years with a low interest rate that accounts for 0.5-2 per cent and up to seven-year grace period.

The long-term loans will help bridge the gap between spending and revenues in the state budget, which will allow public debt restructuring in accordance with the financial reform programme agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund.

So far, the government has signed several loan agreements with a value of $390 million, and is scheduled to sign more, worth $550 million, by the end of 2016.

The total sum of loans received and intended to be agreed on for 2016 has reached $939.7 million, some $848.3 million of which is to support the Treasury and $91.4 to be spent on water and sewerage projects.

The value of the annual grants that are committed to Jordan through bilateral agreements with donor countries has reached $662.8 million distributed among several sectors such as water and sewerage, municipalities, education, health, energy, economic opportunities, and supporting the general budget.

The ministry is working on signing the rest of these deals, which are worth $71 million, before the end of 2016.

The minister said that the total value of annual and additional assistance provided to the Kingdom in the entire year of 2016 will reach $2.8 billion, some $939.7 million of which was in the form of soft loans and $1.18 billion in grants to finance the JRP.   

Fakhoury expressed appreciation for the  international community and the donor countries for supporting Jordan, noting that the Jordanian government will continue to follow up on the commitments that were announced during London’s conference.

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