AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday signed a set of loan and grant agreements worth 45 million euros with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Half of the agreements are in the form of grants, and the other half will be extended as loans. All will finance the implementation of the Ain Ghazal Wastewater Treatment Project, according to officials.

Signing the agreements on behalf of the government, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said the financing consists of a concessional loan worth 22 million euros from the EBRD, a grant amounting to £13.72 million from the UK Department for International Development.

In addition, a grant worth 4.6 million euros will be provided from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and $1.948 million from the Concessional Financing Facility.

“The financing aims at the construction of a new 30.4km wastewater conveyer from Ain Ghazal Treatment Plant to As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant,” Fakhoury highlighted during the signing ceremony, adding that the money will also be used for the rehabilitation of the existing plant facilities in order to accommodate a higher wastewater flow and avoid potential environmental risks.

Describing the project as “timely”, the minister underlined the importance of the scheme for a sector that is deemed a priority, particularly as a response to the needs resulting from hosting Syrian refugees.

The project will contribute to improving Jordan’s “resilience” in light of the growing pressure on its infrastructure, according to Fakhoury.

Heike Harmgart, EBRD
head of office in Jordan, underlined the importance of the project in reducing environmental contamination and water pollution in the northern region, saying that the support is part of a wider initiative between the Water Ministry and the Jordan Water Authority.

“We are thankful for all donors who are working to ensure that Jordan in the north has access to better quality water,” she said.

Since 2012, the EBRD has committed about $850 million for investment projects in various sectors, in addition to extending trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.

British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden said, the grant is “intentionally directed to increase the impact of the international community’s aid on the ground”.

“We want to send a very clear message to the Jordanian people and hundreds of Syrian refugees: that we understand the pressure that they are under after six years of conflict in Syria,” he added.

Oakden noted that the grant is yet another example of the international community’s delivery and commitment to Jordan.