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EU approves 200 million euros in macro-financial aid to Jordan

‘Assistance available for two and a half years, to be provided as loans’

By JT - Nov 05,2016 - Last updated at Nov 05,2016

AMMAN — The Permanent Representatives Committee at the EU on Friday endorsed, on behalf of the European Council, a decision to provide 200 million euros (around JD158 million) in macro-financial assistance to Jordan.

The EU assistance will support the country’s economic stabilisation and reform agenda, helping to cover the Kingdom’s balance of payment needs, according to a statement posted on the European Council’s website.

The support will also supplement resources provided by the International Monetary Fund, which has been discussing a new support programme with Jordan.

The agreement was reached with the European Parliament at an informal meeting on October 27. The parliament is now expected to approve the decision at first reading. The council will then adopt the text, as agreed, the statement said.

The assistance will be available for two and  a half years. It will be provided in the form of loans, to be disbursed in two instalments. The loans will have a maximum average maturity of 15 years, the council added.

In the light of the challenges Jordan faces in hosting more than 1.3 million Syrians, the EU Commission will, if appropriate, make a proposal in 2017 to extend and
increase the financial assistance.

The assistance will be subject to a memorandum of understanding, to be agreed by Jordan with the commission.

The memo will lay down economic policy and financial conditions, focusing on structural reforms and sound public finances. It will include a timeframe for the fulfilment of those conditions, the statement added.

A precondition for granting the assistance will be that Jordan respect effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system. It must also respect the rule of law and guarantee respect for human rights, the EU said.

The European Commission and the European External Action Service will monitor the fulfilment of this precondition for the duration of the macro-financial assistance, according to the statement.

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