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US grants Jordan $745 million as part of ongoing support

Total assistance provided to Kingdom by US for 2019 is around $1.15 billion

By Maram Kayed - Dec 15,2019 - Last updated at Dec 15,2019

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi and Mission Director of USAID Jim Barnhart sign a cash transfer agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and Charge d'Affaires of the US embassy ​​Karen Sasahara on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — USAID has granted the Treasury around $745 million under a cash transfer agreement signed on Sunday, the last one of its kind for 2019.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi and Mission Director of USAID Jim Barnhart in the presence of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and Charge d'Affaires of the American Embassy ​​Karen Sasahara.

Rabadi said at the signing that this grant will be part of the 2019 budget, “contributing to reducing the budget deficit, as it is expected that the value of the grant will be transferred to the Treasury’s account before the end of the current year”.

The US signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordanian government in 2018 that outlined the aid it will provide to the Kingdom from 2018 to 2022, with the initial amount of total aid at $6 billion. However, the US government has increased the amount of funding since then, the minister stated.

The total economic assistance provided to the Kingdom by the US for the year 2019 is around $1.15 billion, including the cash grant signed on Sunday, which included an increase of around $300 million over the indicative value.

“This is a decades-old partnership between Jordan and the United States to support economic stability, enhance democratic governance and improve basic services provided to meet the needs of the Jordanian people,” said Barnhart.

At the signing, it was mentioned that the money will be used to support economic development, provide employment opportunities, improve the quality of life and promote local development.

Part of the additional amount — $50 million — will be allocated to the Kingdom by the US Congress as extra support within the aid fund. 

“Congress as a whole realises Jordan’s importance in the stability of the region.” Barnhart said.

Rabadi, for his part, said: “We look forward to more cooperation between the two countries at various levels and in various fields, which will have a significant impact in supporting the implementation of national reform and development plans and programmes, foremost among which are the priorities of the government's work for the years 2019-2022."

His Majesty King Abdullah’s efforts in empowering and strengthening cooperation with the US were highlighted, with Barnhart saying that the Jordanian government is "taking serious economic and political reforms to put the Kingdom on a path leading to a future based on self-reliance, and the United States will remain a firm partner for Jordan during this process".

He added that the US’ help in establishing government e-services has "improved the transparency and efficiency of the public sector". 

He concluded that the main focus in the near future will be on increasing access to education, healthcare and water for millions of Jordanians.

The money will also be used to meet some of the expenses incurred by the Syrian refugee crisis, he concluded.

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