Funding for National Water Carrier rises to $2.2b — Shraideh

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The total value of pledges by countries and donor organizations for the National Water Carrier project has risen to more than $2.2 billion, in the form of grants and loans, according to data from the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.اضافة اعلان

On Sunday, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Al-Shraideh said that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, pledged to provide an investment loan of up to $400 million to finance the project.

In March, Shraideh announced the results of the first conference in which donor countries and financiers made pledges to the National Water Carrier Project, where $1.83 billion was provided in grants and loans to implement the project.

The donor conference resulted in raising approximately $447 million in grants, $522 million in development loans, and $861 million in soft investment loans.

The minister said that the development loans will contribute to reducing the financial costs of the project. Some loans are payable over periods of up to 20 years, and have grace periods of up to four years.

The US provided $700 million, divided into $300 million in grants and $400 million in soft investment loans.

The EU pledged grants totaling $147 million, in addition to development loans totaling $522 million, and soft investment loans totaling $461 million.

These amounts were distributed as follows: 50 million euros in grants from the EU, in addition to another 65 million euros in grants from Germany, 25 million euros in grants from the Netherlands, and other grants worth 7 million euros from France and Italy.

Loans were distributed as follows: 100 million euros from France, 50 million euros from Italy, 25 million euros from Spain, 219 million euros from the European Investment Bank, and 44 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh had announced that the project, which will meet some of Jordan’s water needs until 2040, will be operational in 2027.

The National Water Carrier is the largest project that the government has included in its Economic Priorities Program 2021–2023, with the aim of providing about 300 million cubic meters annually to meet the basic needs of drinking water of the capital and some governorates.

At the end of the March donor conference, Shraideh said that a second round is scheduled to be held in March 2023, and expressed hope that more grants will be forthcoming for the project.

The National Water Strategy 2016–2025 estimated that water demand “will exceed available water resources by more than 26 percent by 2025.”

According to the Economic and Social Council, water losses in Jordan amount to 45 percent, based on the figures of the Ministry of Water.

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