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IFC pledges $400m investment loan to National Water Carrier Project

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the arm of the World Bank Group that offers investment services, has pledged to provide an investment loan of up to $400 million to finance the National Water Carrier Project (Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Transport Project), Planning and International Cooperation Minister Nasser Shraideh announced on Sunday.

The new commitment will be added to the $1.8 billion pledges in grants and development loans from development partners that were announced in March, according to a Planning Ministry statement.

Shraideh held a meeting with IFC's Managing Director and Executive Vice President Makhtar Diop in Washington D.C., during which both sides discussed the IFC's plans to increase investments and support the Kingdom's private sector, back up development efforts and generate jobs, especially for youth and women.

Talks also went over the new investment law that was recently passed by Parliament. 

The new law, which will go into effect in the beginning of 2023, has set Jordan's investment policy in a manner that promotes the principles of justice and transparency with investors, the minister noted.

Following a comprehensive dialogue with various stakeholders, the new law entails multiple positive aspects aimed to improve the Jordanian investment climate and ease administrative restrictions, he added, stressing that the law ensures legislative stability to preserve the rights of investors, also noting the exemptions and incentives offered for ventures.

He also highlighted the role of the law in serving the objectives of the vision of economic modernisation, notably to attract domestic and foreign investments, with a goal of JD41 billion by 2033.  

Shraideh also chaired the meeting at the World Bank, bringing together the Governors of the Arab States with World Bank Group President David Malpass.

Discussions tackled the challenges facing the region, notably unemployment, water, energy and the effects of climate change.

During the meeting, Shraideh, on behalf of the Arab governors, urged Malpass to intensify the group’s efforts, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, to expand operations in the region to push forward economic and social development and overcome global crises, especially the Arab countries.

The National Water Carrier Project will provide about 300 million cubic metres of desalinated water annually, to meet the water needs of four million individuals in the Kingdom

The National Water Carrier Project depends on the Red Sea as a sustainable source.

The project consists of a seawater withdrawal system which follows the highest environmental standards to ensure the quality of water and sustain the marine ecosystem. 

Additionally, the project includes a desalination plant based on the southern shore of Aqaba, in addition to pumping stations and tanks, and a 450 kilometre pipeline.

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