The government and the World Bank (WB) on Tuesday signed three agreements with a total value of $853.75 million to finance priority projects.
The agreements aim to implement economic reforms that provide employment opportunities and private sector jobs and work to improve the business and investment environment, according to a Planning Ministry statement.
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh and WB Regional Director for the Mashreq Saroj Kumar Jha signed the agreements virtually in the presence of WB Resident Representative Holly Benner.
Shraideh said that the agreements support the government’s efforts to ease the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, stimulate economic growth and help various sectors overcome the current crisis.
The first agreement provides an additional financing worth $290 million for cash transfers to respond to the spread of the coronavirus and to support the coronavirus protection measures the Council of Ministers recently announced.
The agreement includes JD100 million to finance the National Aid Fund (NAF)’s programmes for 2021. This includes JD50 million to target 60,000 households for the temporary cash support (Takaful 3).
It also includes JD115 million to help the government finance the Istidamah Programme, implemented in cooperation with the Social Security Corporation (SSC), until the end of the year.
Both programmes will help pandemic-affected sectors sustain jobs.
The second agreement includes an additional financing of $64 million to help the government purchase COVID-19 vaccines, a $14 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility and a $50 million soft loan from the WB.
The third agreement includes a total of $500 million to be implemented over five years to stimulate public and private investment in the Kingdom.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is also working to provide an additional $250 million to support the programmes, the ministry said.
Shraideh expressed the government’s appreciation of the WB’s continuous support and its financial contributions during the pandemic.
The statement added that the Kingdom’s portfolio, under the country partnership with WB covering the 2017-2022 period, reached $3.5 billion until July 2021, distributed to some 15 development projects with a mixture of soft loans and grants.