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Jordan, US sign largest grant agreement yet for Treasury support


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Jordan and the US on Tuesday signed a grant agreement to directly support the Treasury with $725.1 million, as part of the 2018 US economic assistance.
The US monetary grant for 2018 records an unprecedented value for US grants to the Kingdom, which totalled $475 million last year, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mary Kawar and US Deputy Chargé d’Affaires and USAID Mission Director Jim Barnhart signed the agreement in the presence of Finance Minister Ezzeddine Kanakrieh and other senior officials.
The grant will be used to support priority development projects listed in the 2018 General Budget Law, which would contribute to reducing the budget deficit. The grant value is expected to be received before year end. 
The remaining sum of $336.5 million will be used to support economic development, improve the quality of the social sector and enhance democracy.
The total volume of the economic assistance (excluding military assistance) presented from Washington to Amman in 2018 reached $1.08 billion, which was allocated by the US Congress to the Kingdom for 2018.
The sum is $330 million higher than the value of the economic assistance mentioned in the memorandum of understanding that governs the US support for Jordan over the period 2018-2022, which was signed in February.  
Kawar voiced the Kingdom’s appreciation for the continuous and increasing support that effectively contributes to realising national development goals.
The minister also expressed aspiration for more cooperation between the two countries at all levels, which will “have a great impact on national development and economic reform programmes” on the drawing board.
Barnhart said that the US has a long-term partnership with the Kingdom, through which it aims to support economic stability, enhance democratic governance and develop basic services for the Jordanian people.
In this regard, he said that both countries’ governments have cooperated to increase access to freshwater and sewage services for more than 2 million people in the Kingdom, as well as presenting facilitation at a value of $2 billion for local and foreign investments in the renewable energy sector. 
In press remarks following the signing ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, Kawar said that the grant, listed in the 2018 budget, is allocated for several development projects in the education, health, water and sewerage sectors, among others.
Kanakrieh said that the grant value is expected to be transferred to the Treasury after around 10 days, expressing appreciation for the US annual assistance that contributes to reducing the budget deficit and finance capital projects.
Barnhart noted that this grant is the biggest that the US has presented to any country, which reflects the decade-long partnership between Washington and Amman.

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