Establishment of Relations
Long established political relations between Italy and Jordan have grown and matured throughout the years. Italy’s assistance to Jordan has been ongoing since 1965, when the first cooperation agreement was signed. Since then, Italy has provided Jordan with much needed assistance in priority areas.
Financial and Technical Assistance
Italy’s bilateral assistance to Jordan comes in the form of loans, grants, technical assistance and food aid. Bilateral loans are used to finance development projects, whereas, grants are used to finance small projects such as social projects and projects that are related to the private sector and developing industries. Technical assistance provides experts, training, equipment used in executing joint projects, and scholarships.
In the 1980s, Italy’s cooperation programs have mainly focused on technical assistance and professional training. During the period 1983-1989, the Italian government provided Jordan with developmental loans with a total amount of US$ 42.5 million, a commercial loan worth US$ 40 million, and a loan for US$ 23.75 million respectively, that were utilized in financing the first phase of Aqaba Thermal Power Station.
The 1990s period witnessed a wider spectrum of cooperation programs in key sectors such as vocational training, education, health, water finance and food initiatives. Those projects were funded through a bilateral agreement that was concluded on June 1991, whereby Italy renovated its technical financial commitment to Jordan by extending a total amount of Euro 25 million.
In January 2000, both countries endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding that has set the Italian involvement according to the priorities identified by Jordan in various sectors, including water, environment, health, poverty and economic reform. To this end, Italy has committed Euro 88 million to finance ten projects, of which 45% was dedicated to the water and environment sector.
Added to that, the Italian Cooperation for Development office is currently involved in various projects that do not fall under the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in 2000, but that coincide with the set objectives for cooperation, to enhance the quality of life of Jordanians, and to strengthen the capacities of and improve the technological means of the Jordanian government.
Areas of Assistance
§ Water and Wastewater.
§ Small Medium Enterprise.
Ongoing Projects Funded by Italy
1. Emergency Initiative in Support of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan: improving life conditions for Palestinian refugees through enhancement of basic services, such as rehabilitation of 100 shelters, provision of labor to camps’ residents for rehabilitation work and provision of vocational training.
2. Enhancement of the Faculty of Physical Rehabilitation Science School at Jordan University: enhancing the capacity of the Faculty of Physical Rehabilitation Science at the University of Jordan through supplying the Physical Rehabilitation Department with health equipment and training professors.
3. Initiative of Emergency for Iraqi Guests in Jordan: providing medical services, facilitating of access to services and educational services and improving their quality, in addition to creating community and legal assistance centers for the Iraqi guests.
4. Jordan Center for Garment Design and Training Services: assisting the Garment Service Center in administrative and services development.
5. Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration Project: providing training to students, developing a diploma curricula and facilitating rehabilitation and construction of buildings.
6. Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Feasibility Study: Preparing an environmental social and economic feasibility study to save the Dead Sea level, generate hydro-electric power, and provide fresh water through desalination.
7. Rehabilitation of Amman Water Network-Phases I and II: restructuring Greater Amman’s Water Supply System – Primary and Distribution System for Distribution Zones DB-19 Daheyat Al Rasheed and DB-21 Kharabsheh.
8. Revolving Fund for the Support of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Credit Line available to the Jordanian SMEs and to Jordanian entrepreneurs for financing long-term private investments and financing the purchase of equipment, technology transfer and related technical training and technical assistance, industrial licenses and industrial patents.
9. Salt Vocational Training Center-Phase III: developing Al-Salt Handicraft Training Centre to become a focal point for handicraft training through strengthening design, production and marketing capability of the production.
10. The Jiza and Talbieh Wastewater Treatment Plant and Pipeline: Constructing a treatment plant for wastewater in Talbieh and Jiza and surrounding areas.