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Water Ministry says it lacks funding despite promised aid

Only $44m out of $220m allocated for this year was received so far — minister

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 10,2017 - Last updated at Jul 10,2017

Jordan ranks as the world’s second water-poorest country, where water per capita is 88 per cent below the international water poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres annually, according to officials  (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation only secured 19 per cent of funds required to sustain water and wastewater services to Syrian refugees and local communities hosting them this year, a senior government official said on Sunday.

A total of $220 million has been allocated for this year's water and wastewater projects, under the 2015-2017 Jordan Response Plan for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser said.

"… However, until today, the ministry has only received 44 million dollars of the allocated funds for this year. This is affecting the level of services provided to host communities, as well as to Syrian refugees," Nasser told reporters during a press meeting.

In 2016, a total of $275 million were allocated to the ministry under the plan, dubbed by ministry officials  as "a resilience plan for the water sector".

Nasser said that, while the international community has other priorities due to events in Yemen and Libya, among other countries in the region, it must not "turn its back on Jordan".

The ministry launched its $750 million water, sanitation and hygiene response plan for Syrian refugees and host communities in 2015, with the aim of enhancing the capacity of the government and host communities to meet the increased demand for water and sanitation services.

Jordan is hosting 1.4 million Syrians, of whom some 650,000 are refugees and 85 per cent live among host communities, according to the response plan. 


It indicated that the addition of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to an “already-vulnerable” water, sanitation and hygiene situation has resulted in “severe pressure” on the entire system of these services in Jordan.
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, demand for water has increased by 40 per cent, while supply remains scarce, according to the ministry.

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