EBRD approves new country strategy for Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

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Jordan cityscape at sunset

The EBRD Board of Directors has approved the Bank’s new country strategy for Jordan for 2020-25.

The document sets out three key priorities for the EBRD’s engagement in Jordan:

  • promoting economic inclusion
  • further developing sustainable municipal infrastructure and green energy
  • strengthening competitiveness and resilience by diversifying access to finance and fostering innovation.

Jordan has made strong efforts in recent years to advance reforms towards a sustainable market economy. At the same time, the country was confronted with unprecedented challenges due to the refugee crisis in the Middle East. Today, about 1.4 million Syrian refugees are registered in Jordan, a serious strain on basic services and infrastructure.

With international support, Jordan is addressing further resulting issues, such as pressure on the job market and the development of small businesses. Compared with their peers, Jordanian businesses are lagging behind in competitiveness. Trade imbalances and regional instability further affect the country’s economic performance.

One of the main goals of the EBRD’s engagement in Jordan in recent years has been to reduce the country’s dependency on the import of energy. With renewables maturing and becoming competitive in a market environment, today Jordan is in a better position than ever before to make commercial use of its abundance of solar energy. The new strategy will support the country in this effort, strengthening renewable energy storage and power transmission, as well as continuing the reform road map of the National Electricity and Power Company (NEPCO).

The new strategy will see the roll-out of the EBRD Green Cities framework to tackle the most pressing challenges in relation to the environment and climate change. It builds on our experience with the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) through projects in solid waste and wastewater management, urban roads, transport and lighting, as well as energy efficiency in public buildings.

The Bank will also put more emphasis on supporting young people, women and people with disabilities, helping create more job opportunities through developing the skillsets of these groups, greater access to finance and better access to essential services.

The EBRD began its operations in Jordan in 2012 and is helping to support sustainable energy, finance private enterprises and promote infrastructure reform. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested almost €1.5 billion across 50 projects in Jordan, of which 73 per cent are in the private sector.

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