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PM issues Defence Order No. 4 establishing coronavirus relief fund

By JT - Mar 31,2020 - Last updated at Mar 31,2020

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz on Tuesday issues Defence Order No. 4 of 2020 during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz on Tuesday issued Defence Order No. 4 of 2020, establishing a fund under the name "Himmat Watan" (a nation's effort), to which local and foreign donations will be deposited to support the Kingdom’s efforts to eradicate the novel coronavirus.

Under the Defence Order, both the "Al Khair" account, opened for the benefit of underprivileged families at the Ministry of Social Development, and the "Donations/Ministry of Health" account with the Central Bank of Jordan are continuing to receive donations, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported.

The prime minister, during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry, said that the new fund is allocated for large donations that exceed hundreds of thousands and even millions of Jordanian dinars, according to Petra.

The establishment of the fund aims at institutionalising the donation process and ensuring sound management of the received funds, he said.

The prime minister noted that Defence Order No. 4 separates these funds from the government's general revenue account "to ensure that this spending goes to the designated aspects".

He noted that, since the onset of the coronavirus in Jordan, “we have received hundreds of calls to inquire about the mechanism of contribution and donation to support national efforts to fight the pandemic".

Razzaz pointed out that calls were received from Jordanian citizens, companies, the private sector, Jordanian expatriates in the Arab Gulf countries, other nations “and from our brothers who have lived in Jordan for many years, especially our Iraqi and Syrian brothers”.

"This obliged us to translate this vigour on the ground by establishing a national project and fund, which will unite all our efforts to eradicate this pandemic,” the PM said.

He added that the fund “will guarantee the highest levels of governance, transparency and control of expenses”, noting that donors and the amounts donated ​​will be made public regularly.

"For these reasons, we have created more than one account, one of which is in the Ministry of Health, mainly for means of examination, prevention, masks and other medical supplies,” he said.

The Ministry of Social Development’s account, Al Khair, is mainly concerned with the economic and social impact of the coronavirus crisis, especially regarding families that have been directly affected and day labourers who have lost their source of income due to the lockdown, Razzaz said.

The PM concluded the press briefing by saying: “On behalf of His Majesty King Abdullah, on behalf of every concerned citizen, every patient who has suffered from this disease and all those in need of help and assistance in these difficult circumstances, we extend our gratitude and appreciation.”

Minister of Social Development and Head of the Social Protection Team Basma Ishaqat said that data from 200,000 families of workers in the informal official sector were collected as part of formulating support for them.

During the daily press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, Ishaqat said that data of more than 1,100,000 families available at the unified national registry and the National Aid Fund will be used to identify the targetted families.

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