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Netherlands approves 400m euros in aid for Syrian refugee host countries

Amsterdam puts expertise in several fields, especially agriculture, at Kingdom’s disposal

By JT - Jun 25,2018 - Last updated at Jun 25,2018

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and her delegation meet with officials in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Government of The Netherlands on Sunday approved a programme of development aid worth 400 million euros for countries affected by the waves of Syrian refugees, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The 2019-2022 programme was announced during a meeting between Planning and International Cooperation Minister Mary Kawar and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, a ministry statement said.

Kawar said that, for Jordan, the Dutch programme will include various priority sectors of the Jordanian government, which will be discussed “soon” at a meeting with concerned ministers “to realise the expected results and maximise the programme's benefits during the coming few years”, according to the ministry.

The Dutch side suggested using the funds to stimulate economic development through supporting the sectors of agriculture, trade, education, vocational and technical training, offering The Netherlands’ technological expertise in these sectors.

The planning minister stressed that the aid came at “the right time” as the new government is working on setting its agenda in line with the guidelines listed in the Royal Designation Letter, including His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives to Prime Minister Omar Razzaz to work on boosting the economy and stimulating it to achieve growth and enhance competitiveness and the ability to generate jobs.

Kawar expressed the government’s appreciation for The Netherlands’ continuous support as a strategic partner of Jordan in development efforts and regarding the challenges stemming from the Syrian refugee crisis. 

For her part, Kaag conveyed her government’s appreciation for Jordan’s efforts in hosting Syrian refugees and providing them with services, despite the difficult circumstances the country is undergoing.

The minister stressed her country’s commitment to supporting the Kingdom in various fields and sharing Dutch expertise, especially in agriculture such as economical use of water and improving the quality of produce.

She also confirmed The Netherlands’ commitment to helping Jordan maximise the benefits of the agreement with the EU countries to ease the rules of origin for Jordanian exports to the union.

Also on Sunday, Labour Minister Samir Murad discussed with Kaag ways to enhance cooperation in the sector of labour and empowering women and increasing their participation in the labour market. 

During the meeting, Murad highlighted the importance of empowering women socially and economically to improve their livelihood and living standards in their communities, which would, in turn, contribute to realising more prosperity and safety for the entire Kingdom. 

Earlier in the day, the Dutch minister visited EAM Maliban Textiles Factory/Jordan in Southern Shouneh, which is one of the satellite plants that have been established through cooperation between the Labour Ministry and the private sector to create jobs for women in remote areas.

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