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Jordan-US MoU reflects ‘close, strategic and historic’ partnership — Shraideh

By JT - Sep 17,2022 - Last updated at Sep 17,2022

Nasser Shraideh

AMMAN — The new memorandum of understanding that was signed on Friday between the Jordanian and the US governments reflects the "close, strategic and historic" partnership between the two countries, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh said on Saturday.

Shraideh added that the memo demonstrates the US’ political commitment to supporting the Kingdom and its stability, as well as an appreciation for Jordan's role in boosting cooperation with the US, according to a ministry statement.

The minister added that the volume of assistance that the US is offering to Jordan expresses the country’s appreciation and support for the comprehensive political, economic and administrative reforms that the government has adopted as part of the Economic Modernisation Vision, the public sector modernisation map and the political modernisation process.

He added that the total support offered in the 2023-2029 memo reaches $10.15 billion, to be distributed on an annual average of $1.45 billion beginning next year, marking an increase of $175 million in annual aid, also noting that the new MoU provides for assistance to Jordan over a seven-year period, the longest duration ever offered by the US.

The annual assistance package includes at least $1.035 billion in economic aid, including $610 million in direct assistance to the Treasury and $75 million to the stimulus support fund, which will support economic modernisation and public sector reform. 

The memo also directs $350 million towards implementing priority development schemes carried out by USAID in cooperation with the government, in addition to some $400 million in military aid to the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army. 

Shraideh emphasised the new memo’s 38 per cent increase in support compared with the precious memo, noting that this demonstrates the sustained commitment of Jordanian-US cooperation, and reflects the US government's belief in the Kingdom's efforts to realise comprehensive reforms.

The minister added that the assistance will also help support the government's plans for economic recovery from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as alleviating the ramifications of regional crises.

In this regard, Shraideh said that the aid will help alleviate the economic burden of the hosting of refugees, which has taken on one of the largest amounts of refugees-per-capita in the world, despite its scarce resources and the low level of global response to fund refugee-hosting costs, all of which has placed great pressure on Jordan’s infrastructure. 

Commenting on the duration of the memo, Shraideh said that the length of the agreed-upon term is an important factor for predictability and financial stability for the Kingdom, including that it will send positive signs to the global market and international credit agencies.

The minister also expressed the government's appreciation for the consistent US economic and military support to Jordan over the years, adding that Washington is Jordan’s biggest supporter in terms of assistance.

Such aid has "greatly" contributed to supporting Amman's efforts to achieve sustainable development in vital sectors, such as water, health, energy, education, private sector development as well as women and youth’s empowerment, he added.

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