Jordan expected to spend over $160 million on Aqaba development projects
Public expenditure on the Aqaba development program between is expected to cost $162.6 million. (Flickr)
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Public expenditure on the Aqaba Governorate development program between 2016 and 2018 is expected to stand at around JD115.286 million ($162.6 million), Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury said Thursday.
At a meeting with lawmakers, officials and local community representatives in the governorate, some 330 kilometers south of Amman, Fakhoury said the estimated cost of development projects for 2016 is JD42.624 million ($60.1 million), while it stands at JD33.739 million ($47.6 million) for 2017, and JD38.923 million ($54.9 million) for 2018, according to a ministry statement.
As for local community priority projects, the minister said a total of JD112.976 million ($159.4 million) was allocated to that end over the next three years: JD42.097 million ($59.4 million) for 2016, JD38.061 million ($53.7 million) for 2017 and JD32.818 million ($46.3 million) for 2018, according to the statement.
The Aqaba development program represents a strategic document and tool that entails studying and analysing the current situation of the port city, he said, adding that the program identifies problems and challenges facing the governorate, especially for the Qweira, Wadi Araba and Diseh districts which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.
Fakhoury also highlighted the government’s commitment to adopting the outcomes of the 2016-18 Aqaba Governorate development program.
To benefit from investment opportunities in Aqaba, according to the investment map for the southern governorates, the minister said the government will cooperate with funds and microfinance institutions to direct their funding toward these investments, the statement added.
With Aqaba among the southern governorates affected by the Syrian refugee influx, Fakhoury said around $319,000 in funds have been approved in the Jordan Response Plan for projects in the governorate, which has a population of 145,500 according to the Department of Statistics’ 2014 estimates.
He stressed that the government will request more international support in this regard, noting that this amount is not enough to address the effect of the refugee crisis on Jordan.
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