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World Bank injects new money in Emergency Cash Transfer Project

1. World Bank
The World Bank building in Washington, June 29, 2011. (Photo: NYTimes)
AMMAN — The World Bank transferred $108 million as new cash payment for the Emergency Cash Transfer Project for families and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan, according to Al-Mamlaka.اضافة اعلان

The total amount the bank is giving to finance the project is some $308 million; it has been transferred in installments since the project was approved in June 2020.

The latest transfer took place in two installments last December, one of $38 million, the other of $70 million.

On June 25, 2020, the World Bank approved the first phase of a $374 million project to provide cash aid to 270,000 poor families in Jordan.

In June 2021, the bank agreed to provide additional financing for the cash transfer project, worth $290 million, aimed at helping families and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total value of the project to $664 million.

The World Bank is considering providing additional financing, amounting to $322 million, for the same project, bringing the total funding for the project to $986 million. If the new funding is approved, it would include the "Estidama” program of the Social Security Corporation.

The project aims to provide cash support to poor and vulnerable families, and workers affected by the pandemic in Jordan, as part of the government’s “Takaful 3” and “Estidama” programs, which target about 160,000 families within the framework of the “Takaful” program, and more than 100,000 workers within the framework of the Estidama program.

The proposed project will work first to increase the allocations for Takaful 1 by about $293 million, to expand the number of its beneficiaries, starting in 2022, and to increase allocations to support workers in companies affected by the pandemic by about $28 million.

The additional funding modified the project period, extending the original loan due date by 12 months (from December 31, 2023, to December 31, 2024).

World Bank Group President David Malpass visited the National Aid Fund in October 2021 to follow up on the cash transfer program in Jordan, and wrote on Twitter: "I welcomed the expansion and improvement in targeting Takaful program, which is financed by the bank and provides support to the poorest and most vulnerable families.”

World Bank estimates indicate that the emergency cash transfer programs reduced by 4.5 percent the increase in poverty rates resulting from the pandemic.

The bank said that "poverty in Jordan was relatively high, and it increased significantly during the pandemic".

The World Bank report stated that early estimates made last year indicated that the potential short-term increase in the national poverty rate may rise by 11 percent due to the loss of employment and income for families.

The report also noted that many families that were not poor were getting closer to the poverty line and were at risk of falling into poverty, as families who depend on informal work have been particularly affected by the pandemic.

The absolute poverty rate among Jordanians reached 15.7 percent, representing 1.069 million Jordanians, while the extreme hunger and poverty rates in Jordan was 0.12 percent, equivalent to 7,993 Jordanian individuals, according to the latest survey on family income and expenditures carried out by the Department of Statistics (2017–2018).

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Al-Shraideh, estimated the poverty rate in Jordan at 24 percent, an increase of about 6 percent, attributing it to the repercussions of the corona pandemic.

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