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Kuwait-based fund provides $71m in soft loan, grant to Jordan

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 28,2015 - Last updated at Dec 28,2015

From right to left: Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury, Chief of Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Abdullatif Youssef Al Hamad and Central Bank of Jordan’s Governor Ziad Fariz are seen ahead of signing deals between Jordan and the fund in Amman on Monday (Photo courtesy of Planning and International Cooperation Ministry)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on Monday signed two soft loan agreements of more than $70.69 million and a grant agreement of 300,000 Kuwaiti dinars (around $1 million) with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour met with AFESD Director General Abdullatif Youssef Al Hamad and thanked the fund for its continuous support for the Kingdom, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Ensour voiced Jordan’s interest to increase its cooperation with the AFESD and enhance the partnership which dates back to 1975.

The premier stressed the depth of Jordan-Kuwait relations, commending the leadership of Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, while Hamad voiced the fund’s willingness to continue supporting Jordan’s development efforts.

The grant of $1 million will be allocated for purchasing a state-of-the-art radar for weather forecasting purposes, to improve the technical capabilities of Jordan Meteorological Department, in addition to increasing accuracy of weather predictions.

As for the loan agreements, the first one of $19.7 million will be used to develop the infrastructure in Petra region and establish entertainment and touristic facilities, in addition to improve the area’s road networks and link the internal road network with main streets and highways.

The second loan agreement of $50 million will be used to finance the small- and medium-sized private sector enterprises programmes. Of that, $40 million will be directed to the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) through an agreement signed with the government.

The remaining $10 million will be dedicated to the Development and Employment Fund (DEF) to finance  small- and medium-sized projects.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said that in addition to the agreements signed on Monday, the AFESD approved another grant of $250,000 to support the information system at DEF. Arrangements for this grant are in the final stage, he added.

The minister also noted that, in the period between 1975 and this year, AFESD has contributed to financing 46 economic and social related projects in Jordan with an amount of 579 million Kuwaiti Dinar (around $1.9 billion). 

As for the grants supplied by the fund over the past 40 years, they have amounted to $46 million. In addition, it contributed to financing $80 million small- and medium-sized projects.  

Hamad, who is also chairman of AFESD’s board of directors, said the fund is looking forward to play a “larger role” in Jordan’s development projects, with interest in the water and energy fields.

 

Following signing the agreements, CBJ Governor Ziad Fariz, said the bank is working in cooperation with the government to establish two funds. The first is to support “start-ups capital”, while the second would be allocated for financial guarantees of small projects.

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