The European Union is providing an additional grant of euro 2,020,000 to fund its Water Sector Intervention Project in Jordan, bringing the total EU commitment to the project to euro 13,735,000, a statement by the European Commission said.
Agreements for the utilization of the supplementary funds are expected be signed by the Jordanian government and the European Commission at the Ministry of Planning on Monday. The first will be a Financing Agreement with an overall commitment of euro 2,020,000. Of this amount, around euro 700,000 will be released immediately to the Ministry of Water.
The Financing Agreement will enable the project to meet two objectives. The first, to complete by next summer the works which will provide supplementary freshwater for Tafileh and to complete by early next year the works in Karak, where freshwater pipes are being replaced and an effluent reuse system is being installed.
The second, to carry out works and supervision for the expansion of the effluent reuse system in Kufranjeh. Works under the Water Sector Intervention Project were launched in 1999. The project has included design and covers ongoing supervision of works, to be followed by appropriate training for engineers and technical staff responsible for operation and maintenance of the new systems.
The EU has been supporting the water sector in Jordan since the late 1970s, stepping up its assistance in the early 1990s to reach euro 52 million between 1992 and 1996 provided by the European Community budget and European Investment Bank alone.
Since 1996, EC and EIB financial assistance to this crucial sector has topped the euro 63 million mark. These figures, however, do not include financing extended by the EU for regional water programs benefiting Jordan and its Middle East neighbors. Nor do they include the substantial bilateral support from EU-member states for water programs in the country.
In terms of overall support for Jordan, Europe is one of the most important sources of financial assistance to the country, with over euro 1.4 billion allocated since 1996. The new allocation reaffirms the EU's support for the Jordanian government's efforts at improving the use of water resources through upgrading and optimizing water sector infrastructure. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)