The US extends $12 million to support ongoing USAID initiatives
A grant agreement was signed earlier today between the Ministry
of Planning and International Cooperation, and the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID).
US Charge d'Affaires David Hale and United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) Director Anne Aarnes signed the agreement on
behalf of the US , while Planning and International Cooperation Minister Suhair
Al-Ali signed on behalf of Jordan .
The grant is the first portion of a US economic assistance
package expected to total $350 million for the fiscal year 2005. Under the grant
agreement, the United States will support ongoing USAID initiatives aimed at
promoting broad-based economic growth in Jordan .
One of the activities to be supported by this grant agreement
is the USAID Achievements of Market-Friendly Initiatives and Results Programme
(AMIR), which aims to assist Jordan in the development of an economic climate
conducive to investment and trade.
According to a US embassy official, some USAID-funded
programmes will receive grants to initiate new projects.
INJAZ, a school-based youth business skill initiative, will
receive grants to expand its programme to more communities in the Kingdom. It is
worthy to mention that the programme is currently active in Amman , Aqaba, Maan
He indicated that AMIR will receive grants to initiate a new
project, which will offer business development assistance through a series of
workshops and training opportunities aimed at female owners of small businesses.
Grants will also be received by the Jordan-US Business
Partnership (JUSBP) to develop a plan for a transitional period to help it
continue activities when their direct USAID funding is phased out in October,
the official added.
Noting the support for ongoing trade promotion programmes, Hale
said the agreement includes funds to help Jordanian manufacturers secure new
export markets, “that create new jobs and expand the number of beneficiaries
from bilateral initiatives like the US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.”
The grant agreement was signed at the Applied University of
Jordan, which the US has helped with grants worth $200,000 by supplying it with
equipment, supplies and other forms of technical assistance, added Hale.