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‘Germany second largest bilateral donor to Jordan after US’

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 17,2016 - Last updated at Nov 17,2016

AMMAN — Germany granted Jordan this year 425.7 million euros (JD323 million) in support of its development and humanitarian projects, reaching the highest volume of aid since cooperation between the two countries started over 60 years ago, German officials said on Wednesday.

A total of 153 million euros has been allocated for humanitarian aid this year, while 272.7 million euros has been designated for development cooperation, according to German embassy officials, who noted that Germany is the second largest bilateral donor to Jordan after the US.

“This year’s increase in financial support for Jordan is connected to the London Conference… as well as the signing of the ‘Jordan Compact’ in February 2016,” the German embassy said in a statement distributed to the media during a press briefing at its premises.

The Jordan Compact was adopted at the London donor conference last February. It details donors’ pledges to Jordan and the Kingdom’s commitments towards the Syrian refugees.

Germany’s financial contributions to development projects are dispersed across several sectors, including water, waste management, education, employment promotion, energy and environment, according to the statement.

Supporting Jordan in overcoming the refugee crisis has been a crucial part of Germany’s funding of projects in the Kingdom, the statement said, indicating that Berlin has supported Amman with more than 1.12 billion euros since the beginning of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2012.

Recognising that Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, and that the refugee crisis and the resulting influx of more than 1 million Syrians into Jordan has aggravated the situation, the embassy said that sufficiently supplying people with water is a major challenge.

“For decades, the water sector has been the key aspect of the German Development Cooperation in the Hashemite Kingdom. On top of projects already in progress, an additional 134 million euros has been granted for this purpose in 2016,” the embassy said in the statement.

Indicating that Germany will continue to support Jordan in the water and wastewater sector, the embassy said the development and improvement of the infrastructure, such as of drinking water pipelines and wastewater treatment plants, are central to cooperation.

“Ever since the beginning of the Syrian refugee crisis, the improvement of the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal at municipalities taking in refugees in the north of the country has been an essential aspect,” the embassy said in the statement.

Meanwhile, in the education sector, the embassy said that Germany supports the construction of new schools, the renovation of existing ones, informal education programmes via UNICEF as well as a college scholarship programme, with allocated funds reaching 33 million euros this year.

Regarding employment promotion, the statement indicated that by the end of this year, some 13,000 new jobs will have been created under an employment initiative launched during the London conference with the aim of creating 50,000 workplaces across the region.

The statement said Germany is funding the salaries of 4,700 Jordanian teachers and 900 employees in 200 double-shift schools.

In addition, Germany, in cooperation with the EU, the UK, the US and Norway, is supporting the Education Ministry’s initiative to provide education for 195,000 Syrian children.

“By doing so, Jordan is taking a big step towards the Jordan Compact goal ‘education for everyone’,” the embassy said in the statement.

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