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Shraideh, EBRD VP discuss economic challenges, support

Planning Minister Nasser Shraideh on Wednesday met with First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Jurgen Rigterink. 

Discussing cooperation, Shraideh stressed the importance of EBRD’s support for national priority projects, most notably the National Water Carrier project, energy projects as well as green economy projects. 

During the meeting, the delegation was briefed on current and expected national economic growth as well as economic and social challenges, including unemployment, the effects of hosting Syrian refugees in Jordan and the repercussions of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

The Jordanian minister said that continued cooperation with the bank in light of these challenges is key.

Extending appreciation for the continuous support provided by the bank, Shraideh underlined the importance of maintaining its investment volume and funding as well as providing flexible and innovative financing tools to Jordan.

Voicing the government's keenness to bolster cooperation with the EBRD, the minister commended the distinguished relations with the bank as one of Jordan's development partners.

EBRD’s investment portfolio in Jordan has grown to more than 1.2 billion euros since 2012, as it has financed a number of important projects related to renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, water, sanitation, waste management, small and medium enterprises and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, he added.

Bolstering the Jordanian private sector accounted for more than 56 per cent of the bank’s support to the Kingdom, he noted. 

Sraideh also briefed the delegation on the progress of the National Water Carrier Project, the Aqaba-Amman desalination and water transport project, describing it as a top priority for the Jordanian government, which allocated $200 million in development and investment loans for this strategic project, calling on the bank to provide more financing for the project.

The two sides stressed the importance of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt next November.

Rigterink and the accompanying delegation are on a visit to Amman to review EBRD’s activities in Jordan and identify challenges and potential areas of support. 

The meeting was attended by EBRD Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Heike Harmgart, EBRD Director for Canada, Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia Sarah Fountain Smith, and EBRD Head of the Eastern Mediterranean Region Philip ter Woort. 

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