Jordan's Planning and International Cooperation Ministry on Tuesday signed a $20 million grant agreement with the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to support Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan.
“This grant is aimed at helping the Jordanian government overcome the repercussions of hosting Syrian refugees, and it will be directed to improve the health and municipal affairs sectors in host communities, under the 2016-2018 Jordan Response Plan,” Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury said.
The minister noted that $6.1 million will be allocated to implementing projects in the health sector, $11.45 million for municipal services and $2 million to implement a project in cooperation with the UNHCR.
Fakhoury said the Kingdom had already reached its limit in shouldering the burden of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees, urging the international community to honour its pledges towards helping Jordan not only for 2016 but for the next two years.
The KFAED agreement is part of Kuwait’s commitment to provide $100 million, announced at the London donor conference in February, to help fund the response plan to the Syrian refugee crisis in host countries including Jordan.
Fakhoury and KFAED Director General Abdulwahab Ahmad Al Bader signed the agreement in the presence of Municipal Affairs Minister Walid Masri, Health Minister Mahmoud Sheyyab and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Hamad Al Duaij.
“Jordan’s cooperation with the fund dates back to 1962, and it has helped the Kingdom, until 2015, to implement 26 projects in the phosphate, industry, energy, water, infrastructure, education and health sectors through providing concessional loans and grants with a total value of $579 million,” Fakhoury noted.
The minister commended Kuwait’s contribution to the $5 billion Gulf Cooperation Council grant to finance development projects, noting that Jordan withdrew some $1 billion from the Gulf emirate’s total share of $1.25 billion.
He also expressed his appreciation for KFAED’s efforts in supporting development in Jordan, adding that the fund in 2014 and 2015 extended two grants to the Kingdom, which totalled $38 million.
For his part, Bader thanked the Jordanian government and praised the distinguished bilateral relations between Jordan and Kuwait, stressing his country’s supportive stance towards the Kingdom to alleviate challenges resulting from the instability of the region and hosting Syrian refugees.
He also expressed the fund’s keenness to consider the development requirements of the Jordanian government.
“The fund will also provide a grant to the King Hussein Cancer Centre to help it cover the treatment costs of Syrian refugees,” Bader noted.
Prime Minister Hani Mulki also met with Bader on Tuesday, and expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Kuwait’s role in supporting Jordan’s development projects.
Mulki praised Kuwaiti support for Jordan during difficult economic times over the past years, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Bader commended the Kingdom’s good administration in developing the national economy despite regional conditions that resulted in many challenges, such as the influx of refugees.
By Merza Noghai
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