The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$70.5 million loan agreement with Jordan to help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing social safety net programs and stimulus packages that aim to retain workers across various economic sectors and create new jobs, especially for women, youth and new graduates.

The OPEC Fund loan will specifically support the creation of some 14,500 jobs in the forestry and tourism sectors; promote the employment of fresh graduates in the information and communication technology sector; and strengthen the staffing of various healthcare institutions.  This loan is part of the OPEC Fund’s US$1 billion commitment to collective and coordinated COVID-19-related assistance for developing countries worldwide.

The project supports Jordan’s COVID-19 economic action plan, which is being co-financed by the World Bank. The wider program will also provide social protection through cash support and food subsidies for approximately 250,000 households, and promote employment for over 100,000 workers in the private and agricultural sectors.

According to World Bank analysis, the Jordanian economy contracted by 1.6% in 2020. Unemployment rose to 24.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and youth unemployment reached an unprecedented 50.0%.

OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “As Jordan recovers from disruptions related to Covid-19, creating employment opportunities for youth remains especially critical. The OPEC Fund is pleased to partner with the Jordanian government and the World Bank to support job creation in key sectors and to help increase economic resilience.”

Including the present loan, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$322 million to support public, private and trade finance operations that are helping strengthen Jordan’s energy, health, education and agriculture sectors.

About the OPEC Fund

The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively.  The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people.  Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare, and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.

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