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Planning Ministry, Islamic Development Bank sign $100m grant, loan agreement

Loan to be added to state budget as contribution to emergency health project

By Laila Azzeh - Aug 03,2017 - Last updated at Aug 03,2017

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury and Islamic Development Bank’s Director of Infrastructure Department Walid Abdul Wahab sign a $100 million grant and loan agreement in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Planning and International Cooperation Ministry)

AMMAN – The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on Thursday signed a $100 million grant and loan agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which will be channelled into the state budget as a contribution to the Kingdom’s emergency health project. 

Under the agreement, a total of $79 million will be extended as a soft loan, while $21 million will be provided in the form of a grant through the global concessional financing facility.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury noted that the IDB’s agreement is complimentary to the World Bank’s contribution to the emergency health programme, which amounts to $150 million. 

“The ministry signed a $50-million agreement with the World Bank in June, of which $36.1 million will be given in the form of a soft loan and $19.3 million through the global concessional financing facility, which was launched by the bank last year,” the minister said. 

He highlighted that the facility is part of the “innovative tools” initiated to help countries hit hardest by the security and political instability in the region, particularly the Syrian crisis. 

“Syrian refugees are about to reach 1.4 million in Jordan. Even high-income countries cannot handle the repercussions of hosting such a huge number of displaced people. You can imagine the pressure that is endured by a medium-income country like Jordan to accommodate the growing number of Syrian refugees,” Fakhoury said during the ceremony. 

He noted that extending soft loans that are incorporated with grants helps Jordan cover its funding gaps in the annual budget endorsed by the Lower House, as an alternative to internal and foreign commercial loans.

“Soft loans offer lower interest rates and extended grace and repayment periods, which contribute to restructuring the national debt according to the national financial and economic reform programme and to the arrangements with the World Bank,” Fakhoury stated, adding “Today’s support is part of an assistance that targets the healthcare services and includes the establishment of hospitals and healthcare centres,”.

He noted that the new support will also back the government’s efforts to provide medical services for uninsured Jordanians, in addition to Syrian refugees. 

Walid Abdul Wahab, director of the IDB’s infrastructure department, said that the agreement aims to support the Kingdom in maintaining its primary and secondary health services and creating a more efficient health system. 

 

Since 1975, the IDB has extended around $1.8 billion to Jordan in the form of grants and soft loans to support vital projects in the fields of water, energy, housing, education and infrastructure.   

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