Establishment of Relations
Bilateral relations between Jordan and France were first initiated in 1965 with the signing of the Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agreement. Since then, Jordan and France have enjoyed extensive relations, which have led to comprehensive collaboration between both countries in key areas of mutual interest.
In September 2003, an agreement between Jordan and Agence Française De Développement (AFD) was signed, to establish a representative office in Amman. This agreement enabled AFD to make available its financial (lending services) and technical assistance in accordance with the political, economic and social development objectives of the Government of Jordan. AFD representative office in Amman commenced its operations in March 2006, and consequently has been the French government’s executive arm for development cooperation with Jordan since then.
In 2005, France announced it would extend a €20 million grant facility over 5 years to Jordan. Accordingly, in March 2006, the government of Jordan and AFD signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the utilization of the €20 million grant facility, through which it was agreed to finance projects in the energy, environment, and water and irrigation sectors. In total, France has extended an approximate amount of €141.6 million to the Jordan as grants and concessional funds to support different sectors of the economy during the period 2007 – early 2010.
Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation
Cooperation in this field has witnessed remarkable progress. The record of the 12th round meeting of the Joint French-Jordanian Committee for Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was held and signed in Paris on 16-17 March 2006, during which both sides agreed to strengthen and deepen cooperation in the fields of education and higher education, languages, science and technology, archaeology, tourism, vocational training, and agriculture.
Main Areas of Assistance
§ Water and Irrigation
§ Trade development
§ Microfinance Sector
§ Local development
Ongoing Projects funded by the AFD
1. Development of an Air Quality Monitoring System and Air Quality Action Plan: focusing on the measurement of ambient air in urban settings and the measurement of industrial emissions, with a concentration on several "hot-spots", in particular urban pollution in Amman and industrial pollution in Hashimiyeh.
2. Disi-Mudawwara to Amman Water Conveyance System: Supplying Amman with 100 million cubic meters of fresh water for drinking purposes from the Disi Aquifer south of Jordan.
3. Energy Efficiency in Lighting: reducing the electricity consumption and power load for residential areas and street lighting in Amman, in addition to contributing to the implementation of a public policy for energy saving in the housing and municipal sector.
4. Greater Amman Municipality Master Plan: supporting the development of a comprehensive master Plan and related urban planning actions for the Greater Amman Municipality.
5. Irrigation Optimization in the Jordan Valley: optimizing irrigation in the Jordan Valley in order to improve water efficiency in irrigation.
6. Provide Concessional Financing through the French Agency for Development (AFD) to several Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) via Societe General Bank: offer a soft financing to Jordanian Microfinance institutions (MFIs)in order to support their activity growth and outreach to new segments of the population.
7. Regional and Local Development Project (RLDP): improving basic public services and commercial public services for which Jordanian municipalities are responsible, in a sustainable manner.
8. Support to Energy Efficiency Management in the Industrial and Services Sectors: supporting the development of a framework for supporting Energy Management in Jordanian industrial and service sectors, with the co-financing of the World Bank/GEF and the Jordanian Government.
9. Technical Assistance for Management of Groundwater Resources: building a geological and hydro-geological model of all Jordan's groundwater resources in order to provide a better estimation of available resources and to define rules to manage withdrawals that respect the sustainability of resources. In addition, the project provides training for technicians in how to use hydro-geological models and interpret their results.