You are here

Jordan, WBG reaffirm long-standing partnership

Planning minister meets with WBG delegation

By JT - Jun 10,2021 - Last updated at Jun 10,2021

AMMAN — Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh on Thursday said that the World Bank (WB)’s support to the Kingdom will help boost the economy and create new investment opportunities.

The minister’s remarks were made during a meeting with a senior-level World Bank Group (WBG) delegation at the ministry that was followed by a press briefing.

The delegation arrived to the Kingdom on June 8 in its first visit since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement made available to The Jordan Times by the Planning Ministry.

Shraideh met with WBG Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj, WBG Dean of the Board of Executive Directors Mirza Hassan and Adviser to the Executive Director of the WBG Fawaz Bilbeisi, the statement said.

Shraideh and the WBG delegation discussed the ongoing and key priorities for 2021 and 2022, in particular the continuation of support to social protection and creating jobs particularly for youth and women, according to the statement.

Other areas that were discussed during the meeting included the economic and structural reform agenda, economic recovery and investment promotion, the statement added.   

The WBG delegation, which concluded its visit to the Kingdom on Thursday, held several meetings with the Jordanian government, private sector and civil society representatives and stressed the importance of pursuing their efforts in advancing their longstanding partnership, according to the statement.

Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement pointed out to the WBG’s expanded support to “help Jordanians through the COVID-19 crisis and promote a resilient recovery and continued reforms”.

According to WB figures and analysis, the Jordanian economy was contracted by 1.6 per cent in 2020, while unemployment rates rose during the fourth quarter to unprecedented levels, especially among youth, the statement added.

The pandemic has inflicted a heavy economic burden on the Kingdom, and therefore, the Jordanian and WBG representatives acknowledged the importance of focusing on structural, economic and financial reforms to help Jordan cope with pressing needs, the statement said.

Some of the sectors that were hit hard, according to the statement, were the service, travel and tourism sectors, key sectors of growth.

As a result, the WB has adapted a strategy that expands support for the government’s plan to help Jordanians, including supporting emergency health measures and vaccine support as well as cash transfer programmes to support vulnerable households and workers, the statement said.

In addition, the statement added that the focus will be to ensure the proper support to sustain businesses and preserve jobs and livelihood as well as promoting investments in a climate-resilient and inclusive recovery.

The WBG and other partners have prepared a package of over $1.1 billion for the 2021 fiscal year in combined loans and grant financing support, which includes the Jordan COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, according to the statement.

The support is expected to ensure that 40 per cent of the eligible population can be vaccinated to help meet the target of 75 per cent of the adult population, the statement added.

This step would be critical in reopening the economy, schools and hard-hit sectors, the statement pointed out. 

The WBG is also preparing an expansion of the Emergency Cash Transfer Project to support vulnerable households and workers impacted by the crisis, as part of the government’s Takaful (support) and Estidama (sustainability) programmes, targeting an estimated 160,000 households under the Takaful programme and over 100,000 workers under the Estidama programme, according to the statement.

The statement concluded by stressing that the WB has been a long-standing partner of Jordan.

“Through a strong WBG-Jordan partnership, both sides agreed to continue their ongoing cooperation to support Jordanians through the crisis, including building back a better and greener economy, promoting investment-led growth and creating jobs, particularly for Jordan’s youth and women.”

 

up
21 users have voted.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.