United States

Establishment of Relations

Jordan and the United States (US) share a strong relationship dating back to 1949 when the two countries established diplomatic relations. Two years later, the US began providing assistance to the Kingdom, and in 1957 an agreement of Economic and Technical Assistance was signed.

Cooperation between the two countries covers a wide gamut of fields, touching on economic cooperation, political dialogue and social interaction. US continued and growing assistance in these areas have solidified bilateral relations and transformed them into a concrete partnership.

Technical and Financial Assistance

US’ commitment to Jordan’s development and modernization objectives has afforded Jordan with nearly US$10 billion in general assistance since 1957. For the period 2010-2014, the US has committed to provide Jordan with an annual amount of US$660 million, which would contribute to the development of the Kingdom in key areas.

Currently, there are three major US agencies working in Jordan, providing economic and development assistance:

  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
  • The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Most American aid is in the form of grants and technical assistance. Some of the mechanisms used for aid distribution by the abovementioned donor agencies include:

  • Cash Transfers and budget alleviation under the Local Currency Program.
  • Condition Precedent Program.
  • Project support and implementation.
  • Millennium Challenge Threshold Program under the MCC.

Areas of Assistance

The United States’ economic assistance to Jordan has more than doubled in the past decade, and as such the scope of their assistance has widened to include many of Jordan’s top priority sectors. These include:

§  Water.

§  Economic Development.

§  Governance.

§  Health.

§  Education.

§  Environment.

§  Energy.

§  Tourism.

§  Youth.

 Some of the Ongoing Projects Funded by the United States under USAID are:

1. Northern Governorates Water Supply Project: designing and managing construction of the East Primary Water Transmission System, which transfers water from Mafraq to Irbid.

2. Water Demand Management: instituting sustainable water demand management by building the institutional capacity for water demand management in the involved institutions, developing and supporting enforcement of laws and regulations for efficient water use,  and demonstrating selected water demand management initiatives to the public. 

3. Building Green in Jordan: energy efficient building concept; developing replicable models for implementing energy efficiency audits to reduce energy consumption and encourage private sector investment.

4. Jordan Tourism Development Project II: enhancing Jordan’s competitiveness as an international tourism destination through policy and regulatory reforms, visitor experience improvements, product development, marketing enhancements, human capacity development, and tourism awareness campaigns.

5. Fiscal Reform II: assisting the government with its fiscal policy reforms. Project focuses on streamlining the tax system, modernizing the tax administration, making the budget process more transparent and more closely aligned with the government’s priorities, enhancing customs administration and trade facilitation.

6. Jordan Economic Development Project (SABEQ): enhancing the competitiveness of Jordanian firms and increasing the number of jobs available to Jordanians.  Project includes strengthening capital markets, improving business enabling environments, expanding trade and investment, and improving private sector competitiveness.

7. Aqaba Economic and Community Development Project: enhancing the skills of micro, small and medium enterprises and Aqaba citizens to increase their ability to access benefits from existing and planned major investments in Aqaba.

8. Better Work ILO: focusing on the public sector reforms needed for more transparent and simplified inspection processes, and improving labor standards and enterprise performance in global supply chains in developing countries.

9. Rule of Law Program: improving systems and increasing judicial independence and integrity, enhancing the investment climate, and improving the public’s perception of the justice system. 

10. Jordan School Construction and Rehabilitation Project: constructing nearly 28 new schools and renovating an additional 100 public schools all over Jordan.

11. Health Systems Strengthening II: Improving access to and quality of health care services and information through: upgrading emergency rooms at 3 public hospitals, renovating and equipping obstetric and neonatal departments in selected hospitals, strengthening and institutionalizing the concept of “Knowledge Management”, improving quality of care and family planning; promoting healthy behaviors, and developing human resources.

12. The Jordan Private Sector Project (PSP) for Women’s Health: improving access to and quality of reproductive health services in the private sector, encourage networking between the public and private sectors, enhancing continuing medical education opportunities, improving breast cancer screening procedures and services, and expanding outreach activities for women’s health.

Some of the Ongoing Projects Funded by the United States under USTDA are:

1. Zarqa River Wastewater Treatment Feasibility Study: improving wastewater collection and treatment systems to serve the communities of the Zarqa River Basin. 

2. Vessel Traffic System Feasibility Study: feasibility study for a Vessel Traffic Service and an Integrated Port Communications Information System for the Aqaba Port. Project includes an assessment of the most appropriate technologies, and the various components of the Aqaba Port, including the entities involved in its operation.

3. Solar Power Feasibility Study: advising on technical, financial and economic aspects of building a 46 MW concentrated heat power plant in Jordan to serve as a pilot for the Middle East region

 

 






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