World Bank funds jobs, education, and water in $3.9B Jordan portfolio

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AMMAN – On Sunday, the World Bank confirmed that its active portfolio in Jordan comprises 16 projects with a total value of $3.9 billion in the form of loans, concessional financing, and grants as of the end of January. اضافة اعلان

This expanded portfolio aims to support Jordan’s Economic Reform Activity (ERA), enhance climate resilience, and strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

The strategic partnership framework between the World Bank and Jordan (2017–2023) focuses on key pillars:1) Promoting private sector-led growth: Enhancing job opportunities for all.
2) Improving service quality and equity: Ensuring better access to basic services such as education and health.
3) Supporting effective response and resilient recovery: Addressing the impact of the pandemic.

The World Bank continues to work in Jordan through consulting services and evidence-based analyses. These efforts provide valuable economic and social diagnoses that are accessible to all stakeholders. The Bank also provides semi-annual economic updates, including the Fall 2023 Economic Update for Jordan, as well as climate-related reports, such as the 2022 Climate and Development Report for Jordan.

Additionally, the World Bank manages the Comprehensive Growth and Economic Opportunities Fund in Jordan, which includes contributions from the UK, Canada, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. This fund supports private sector growth and job creation.

The World Bank project portfolio in Jordan covers various areas, including:
Youth and job opportunities: Stimulating investments for youth employment.
Education: Enhancing educational opportunities.
Agricultural resilience: Strengthening agricultural capacity.
Water sector efficiency: Improving water services.
Cash support for the poorest and most vulnerable: Providing financial assistance to those in need.

The World Bank’s active projects in Jordan span across the following sectors:
1- Finance, competitiveness, and inclusion:
● Economic opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian refugees: Valued at $349 million, this project aims to create economic opportunities for both Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
● Innovative Startups Fund Project: With a value of $50 million, this project supports innovative startups.
● Youth, Technology, and Jobs Project: Valued at $200 million, it focuses on youth empowerment and technology-driven employment.
● Support for Industry Development Fund Project: A $85 million initiative to enhance industry development in Jordan.

2- Macroeconomics, trade, and investment:
● Inclusive, transparent, and climate-responsive investments: A $900 million program to promote comprehensive and climate-responsive investments in Jordan.
● Co-financing of $450 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

3- Health, nutrition, and population:
Emergency COVID-19 Response Project: Valued at $70 million, this project supports Jordan’s pandemic response.
● Grant of $13.75 million from the Crisis Response Window.

4- Education:
● Education Sector Reform Support Program: A $229 million initiative to improve education.
● Co-financing of $70.9 million from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF).

5- Social protection and jobs:
● Emergency cash transfers for COVID-19 response: Funding of up to $1 billion.
● Private sector employment and skills support (operations): Valued at $112 million.

6- Urban development and resilience:
● Municipal services and social resilience in urban areas: A $102 million project.
● Governance strengthening project: Valued at $15.8 million.

Water, energy, and environment:
● Gradual phase-out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) compounds: A $3.9 million project.
● Electricity sector efficiency program: Valued at $250 million.
● Water sector efficiency in Jordan: A $200 million project, co-financed with $50 million from the GCFF and $50 million from the French Development Agency.

In the agriculture and food sector, the World Bank launched a project to explore high-value agricultural methods that achieve social inclusion and optimize water usage. This project received a grant of $1 million from the Crisis Response Window. Additionally, the Agricultural Resilience and Value Chain Development Program aims to enhance the agriculture sector’s resilience and promote innovation, with a total value of $95.6 million.

The World Bank Group also collaborates through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). In Jordan, MIGA’s active guarantees constitute the third-largest portfolio in the MENA, totaling $545.8 million as of September 30, 2023.

The World Bank’s financial commitments in Jordan during the past year amounted to $946 million, distributed across the following programs:A) Agricultural resilience and value chain development: Enhancing the agriculture sector’s capacity for resilience and innovation.
B) Inclusive, transparent, and climate-responsive investments: A program valued at $900 million was co-financed with $450 million from the AIIB.
C) Electricity sector efficiency program: Focused on improving the efficiency of the electricity sector.
D) Water sector efficiency in Jordan: A $200 million project, supplemented by $50 million from the GCFF and $50 million from the French Development Agency.

The current portfolio of the agency’s partnerships between the public and private sectors in Jordan includes three projects:A- Expansion of As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant
B- Thermal power plant in Zarqa Governorate.
C- Investments in the rehabilitation, expansion, and operation of Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA).

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