Jordan’s Efforts in the Reconstruction of Iraq
In line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1483 and 1151, Jordan has repeatedly expressed its readiness to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq to ensure the presence of the necessary conditions for attaining sustainable development, as well as to advance the current efforts aimed at restoring and establishing strong national and local institutions for a representative government.
Due to the geographic proximity and, more importantly, to the deep economic and social ties that Jordan has built over the last decade with Iraq, Jordan maintains a unique position that allows it to act as an enabler and facilitator for all international initiatives that address the reconstruction and development challenges in Iraq.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Iraq in March 2003, the Government of Jordan (GOJ) sought to address the immediate and medium-term priority reconstruction needs of Iraqi sectors in a manner that will ensure that the assistance offered is tailored to the needs and requirements of Iraqi ministries and institutions. The GOJ has been keen to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, including the delivery of medical and food supplies, setting-up of a field hospital in Fallujah, conducting a child vaccination campaign, as well as facilitating the access of UN agencies and donor countries for humanitarian interventions. Jordan's efforts at ensuring a safe humanitarian corridor and smooth flow of goods have registered a new world record in the delivery of urgently needed food supplies (129,000 tons per day in 2003) as extensive efforts have been exerted to ensure that the international community was provided with the required logistical support in its humanitarian efforts.
The latest Activities:
§ Fourth Donor Committee Meeting of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) was held in the Dead Sea on 18-19/2005.
§ a technical meeting was held at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on 28/8/2005 in order to arrange for the Higher Committee and the Sectoral Committees meetings.
§ A joint cooperation agreement was signed on 11 September 2004 between the Amman and the Baghdad Chambers of Commerce in order to boost Jordanian-Iraqi economic relations. Under this agreement, both sides work towards the following:
Ø Establishment of a free trade zone (Al-Karamah) between the two countries on December 27, 2004.
Ø Promote joint commercial and industrial exchange.
Ø Enhance the current role of Jordanian companies in the development of Iraq's economy.
Ø Increase the level of technical cooperation and exchange of expertise between the two countries.
§ In line with His Majesty King Abdullah's directions to provide necessary assistance to the Iraqis, including the rehabilitation of their security forces, the Government of Jordan endorsed on October 14, 2003 the agreement with the CPA to start a two-year training course for 32,000 members of the Iraqi police force at the country's various police academies. The courses started in December 2003, with each course lasting 8 weeks offering training to 1,500 Iraqis at a time and over a period of 2 years.
§ A strategic partnership agreement was signed between Jordan’s Exports and Finance Bank and the National Bank of Iraq by which Jordan’s Exports and Finance Bank acquired 49% of National Bank of Iraq’s paid up capital. The deal amounted to US$8.5 million and is considered to be the first in the history of Iraqi banks.
§ The Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (I-ACCI) opened its offices in Amman to serve its growing members in Jordan and promote the business opportunities in Iraq.
§ In December 2003, the GOJ approved the request presented by the World Bank for the establishment of an Interim Office for its operations in Iraq. The Interim Office is, furthermore, set to house the Iraq Country Teams of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
§ Jordan hosted the Rebuild Iraq 2005 Exhibition that took place in 4-7 April. More than nine hundred International and Jordanian companies participated in this event in order to establish joint ventures and start business with Iraqi companies to catalyze the Iraqi private sector which can play a pivotal role in the reconstruction of Iraq..
Al-Karama Free Zone (KFZ)
The Free Zone is located in Al-Mafraq Governorate, about (360) Km east Amman, on an area of (10000) dunums along the Jordanian –Iraqi Borders. The Zone is divided as follows:
(2000) dunums were allocated to establish a public free zone.
(8000) dunums were allocated to establish a multi-purposes private free zone thereon.
§ A Sub-agreement was signed between the Government of Jordan and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman (UNHCR) to provide social services for Iraqi refugees in Jordan.
The Mechanism for Cooperation between Jordan and Iraq
· The Higher Committee is co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Iraq and Jordan, and includes in its membership the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and International Cooperation. The Prime Ministers of Jordan and Iraq agreed to establish a mechanism for continued cooperation between the tow countries.
§ The Sectoral Committees chaired by the related ministers, and comprised of experts, to enhance cooperation and coordination on several levels. The sectoral committees include the following:
1. Trade Committee
2. Transportation Committee
3. Energy Committee
4. Health Committee
5. Labor and Training
6. Education and Academic Research
7. Military and Security
8. Fiscal and Monetary Cooperation
9. Communication and Information Technology
10. Investment Promotion
· The Coordination Office for the Reconstruction of Iraq at the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation coordinates between the above stated Secretariats.
Cooperation between the Government of Jordan and the Government of Japan in conducting training programs for Iraqi Personnel
Based upon the Japanese Government pledges made during the Donor’s meeting on the Reconstruction of Iraq held in October 2003 in Madrid, an agreement was signed between the Government of Jordan (GOJ), represented by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC), the Japanese Embassy in Amman and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the provision of training programs for Iraqi personnel through the Third Country Training Program funded by the Japanese government and executed in Jordan. These trainings included courses in the power sector, statistics, water resources management, cultural heritage, solid waste management, education, and water supply and sewage.