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Jordan at ‘saturation point’ in handling refugee burden — Fakhoury

Minister meets representatives of donor countries, UN agencies

By JT - Sep 10,2016 - Last updated at Sep 10,2016

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury holds talks with representatives of donor countries and UN agencies in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — Jordan has reached the saturation point and its maximum possible ability to bear the Syrian refugee burden, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury told representatives of donor countries and UN organisations recently. 

According to a ministry statement, e-mailed to The Jordan Times Saturday, Fakhoury said the refugee influx has put large pressures on the Kingdom’s resources, particularly water, finance and social infrastructure. 

The minister made the remarks during a meeting with ambassadors and diplomats of donor countries, and representatives of UN agencies on Thursday evening to review pledges announced at the London donor conference in February and the Jordan Compact to deal with the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, which was prepared in cooperation with the UK, the World Bank, the EU and several partners from donor countries supporting the Kingdom.

Fakhoury said that in light of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund over the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the government would limit fiscal space in its spending choices in order to address the budget deficit and the public debt. 

The lack of action by the international community to support Jordan, which he said is shouldering the Syrian refugee burden on behalf of the world, would affect the Kingdom’s ability to continue its duties towards the refugees. 

The statement said that Fakhoury briefed diplomats on the economic and social challenges currently facing Jordan due to political instability in the region. He urged the international community to continue its support for the Kingdom in the coming three years. 

The minister called for supporting the Kingdom with financial grants to cover the financing gap in the Jordan Response Plan for 2016-2018 and to extend concessionary loans for priority development projects listed in the government’s executive programme. 

He urged donors to support the budget as per the EFF that seeks to bolster the Jordanian economy’s resilience and its macroeconomic stability. 

Discussions at the meeting, also attended by Finance Minister Omar Malhas, covered the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants slated for September 19 in New York and the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis to be hosted by US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 20, said the statement.   

Malhas said Jordan faces a financial shortfall of JD2 billion annually between 2016-2018 due to regional crises, which caused a drop in tourism and foreign direct investment. 

 

The Kingdom is hosting around 1.3 million Syrians, according to official figures.

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