Jordan – The Jordanian government signed an agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) aimed at developing the Kingdom’s water sector and infrastructure, as part of an EU project to assist Jordan with the Syrian refugees crisis.
Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury signed the agreement, which consists of two EU grants worth 40 million euros.
The new water and sanitation projects are intended to help Jordanian host communities and the large Syrian refugee population in the Kingdom.
The grants are allocated for the expansion and improvement of water networks in the regions of Irbid and Ramtha and for boosting the capacities of Yarmouk Water Company, the ministry said in a statement.
Fakhoury noted that the total cost of the project would reach 144 million euros, with 50 per cent being covered by soft loans from the AFD and the German Development Bank (KfW), with the rest to be received in grants from the KfW and the EU.
On November 30, the AFD signed a highly concessional loan with the Kingdom for the project, worth 32 million euros. It is expected that further agreements will be signed in early 2017 with the KfW for the remaining funding, the statement said.
Fakhoury noted that the EU funding was divided into two parts, with the first grant of 21 million euros being provided by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis.
The Water Authority of Jordan will manage 11 million euros from this grant to support water distribution networks in Irbid, 80km north of Amman, while the AFD will manage 10 million euros in order to provide access to water for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrians.
The second part of the grant, worth 19 million euros, is a contribution by the EU for the Neighborhood Investment Facility.
The funding comes in the context of the London donor conference that was held in February, in which donor countries pledged to support the region to deal with the consequences of the ongoing war in Syria.