The government of Jordan will hire more medical cadres and teachers next year to meet rising pressure on health and educational services due to the influx of Syrian refugees, a government official said Wednesday. 
Director of the General Budget Department Mohammad Hazaimeh told The Jordan Times over the phone that the cost of new recruitments in the two sectors would be around JD47 million.
Hazaimeh said that the estimated cost of salaries of new recruitments in the health sector would be JD29 million, while in the education field around JD18 million.
“The Syrian crisis has put so much pressure on health and educational services,” he added.
According to UN estimates, the total requirements for Jordan to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis is $2.1 billion for the current year ($1.3 billion for humanitarian areas, $741 million for development) and $3.2 billion ($1.95 billion for humanitarian requirements, $1.26 billion for development) for the year 2014. 
In previous remarks, Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif said the government estimates the cost of hosting over 600,000 refugees at around $1.7 billion, including operational and capital investments.
In addition, “accommodating 1.1 million Syrians requires the budget allocation of $389.2 million annually to provide subsidised items and services”, he noted.
Hazaimeh was explaining reasons behind the JD673 million or 11 per cent increase in current expenditure in the draft budget law for 2014 over the re-estimated figure for 2013.
The official indicated that JD300 million, nearly half of the increase in the current spending, is because of the rising cost of interest payments on public debt, which he said would go up in 2014 to JD1.1 billion from JD800 million estimated for 2013.
The other part of the increase includes annual rises in wages for civil servants and military personnel, adding that the pensions bill is also set to increase to over JD1 billion.
Hazaimeh noted that financial allocations in next year’s budget for the military and security apparatuses is estimated at JD1.9 billion.
A government official has told The Jordan Times previously that budgets of the military and security agencies stood last year at JD1.77 billion, which makes the increase for next year around JD130 million.
By Omar Obeidat