World Bank Group approves $500mln inclusive recovery programme for Jordan

Jordan is ready to embark on a climate-responsive recovery and a new growth trajectory

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. U.S. 100 dollar notes are seen at a bank in this picture illustration in Seoul September 20, 2011.

Image used for illustrative purpose. U.S. 100 dollar notes are seen at a bank in this picture illustration in Seoul September 20, 2011.

REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
AMMAN — The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Board of Executive Directors approved on June 10, 2021, a $500 million programme to catalyse public and private investment in Jordan for a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a WBG statement.

The programme is expected to help Jordan accelerate its recovery and create more jobs by capitalising on the economy’s potential, especially its green growth opportunities, and to strengthen the government’s accountability mechanisms for delivery.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is also preparing an additional $250 million in financing to support the programme, the statement said.

The Inclusive, Transparent and Climate Responsive Investments Programme-for-Results (PforR) is part of the $1.1 billion recently announced by the WBG in combined loans and grant financing support from the WBG and international partners to support Jordan in responding to the pandemic and promoting an early, climate-resilient, and inclusive recovery.

Jordan is ready to embark on a climate-responsive recovery and a new growth trajectory, read the statement.

Climate risks due to water scarcity, rising temperatures, and extreme weather present new opportunities for Jordan to become more resource-efficient and more competitive, the statement said.

Investing in greening of infrastructure and services creates jobs and economic value. Jordan’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on climate change provides a platform to identify opportunities that also benefit the society.

The programme also helps Jordan to include gender-informed assessments in investment design and policy formulation. This is important as less than 15 per cent of Jordanian women in the country were in the labour force in 2019, one of the lowest rates in the world, marking an enormous untapped potential for the economy and society, the statement said.

“Jordan is ready to turn the corner on its investment environment and to develop a greener, more climate responsive and more efficient economy,” said Nasser Shraideh, minister of planning and international cooperation.

“This programme will help Jordan move in that direction and kickstart the post-pandemic economic recovery,” he added.

Saroj Kumar Jha, Mashreq Regional Director, World Bank Group, said: “Jordan has been one of the most active and pioneering countries in the region in ratifying and adopting international climate change initiatives, including the Paris Agreement.”

“Jordan can now capitalise on these efforts to become an attractive destination for green and climate-related investments,” he noted.

Christos Kostopoulos, World Bank Lead Economist, said: “The programme supports the implementation of investment reforms that were initiated under the Five-Year Reform Matrix. These reforms [i] strengthen processes and systems to deliver well-targeted public investments, including Public-Private Partnerships [PPPs]; and [ii] further improve the environment for private investment, including tourism. In both cases the programme supports the greening of investment.”

The programme will also promote inclusion and transparency in its implementation. The PforR includes enhanced public consultation processes and supports greater accessibility of data to deliver more citizen-informed and better results.

The PforR will institutionalise public consultation in the preparation of large capital projects to ensure that public investment promotes social inclusion and caters to the needs of citizens, including marginalised people and those with disabilities. The public will also be consulted during implementation and ex-post evaluation, the statement said.

Alongside the PforR, the World Bank will also be launching a Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR), a flagship analytic report, to support evidence-based policies and reforms to green the economy, create jobs, and attract private sector capital.

Jordan will be one of the first countries globally to pilot the CCDR.

The Programme-for-Results is a World Bank Group financing instrument that supports programmes already included in the government budget. Importantly, it links the disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific agreed programme results over the five-year programme period. The targeted results are publicly disclosed upon project approval, and achievement of results during the course of programme implementation is verified by the Jordan Audit Bureau and validated by the World Bank.

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