Under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a grant committed by the UAE to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan within the framework of the UAE's contribution to the GCC's Gulf Development Fund initiative.
The UAE's contribution within this initiative amounts to $1.25 billion (Dh 4.6 billion), equivalent to 25 per cent of the total value of the support offered to Jordan. Four Gulf countries, namely, the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, will give the total grant over five years.
The MoU was signed in Jordan by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Director General of ADFD, and Dr. Jafar Abed Hassan, Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Co-operation.
The grant, which will be managed by the ADFD, will go into financing projects in a number of vital sectors, including health, education, water and sanitation, roads, transportation and energy. This initiative aims to help Jordan overcome economic challenges and carry out sustainable development.
Al Suwaidi said: "This $1.25 billion grant embodies the close brotherly relations that have linked the UAE and Jordan over the past decades. The wise leadership of the UAE has given directives to deposit the full value of the grant in the Central Bank of Jordan to support and reinforce the Jordanian economy, strengthen its cash reserves of foreign currency and enhance its monetary liquidity. The grant will be used over five years to fund vital projects that will contribute to a quantum leap in the economic and social development in Jordan, raising the people's standard of living." Hassan extended his country's thanks for the UAE's continued support to the people to Jordan, and praised ADFD for its supervision of Jordan's development programmes. He said that Sheikh Khalifa and King Abdullah II of Jordan had strengthened bilateral relations over the years. "This grant, provided within the framework of the Gulf Development Fund, has perfect timing to support the Jordanian government in dealing with economic and development challenges. We would like to extend our thanks to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates for its constant support to Jordan," he said.
The minister also expressed his country's appreciation for the active role played by ADFD in pushing forward the sustainable development process in Jordan through its grants and fund management.
The ADFD involvement in Jordan goes back to 1974. The Fund has since then offered Jordan loans totalling to nearly Dh 507.6 million, allocated for 11 projects covering several sectors, including industry, water and irrigation, health and agriculture. In addition to that, ADFD has managed a grant provided by Abu Dhabi Government amount Dh 11 million to finance Zain Al Sharaf Developmental complex.
With this current grant, the total assistance to Jordan given and managed by ADFD on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government now amounts to more than Dh 5 billion.
The projects financed by ADFD loans in the housing sector include the development project under way in southern Al-Shalalah (Dh 109.65 million); and in the water sector, ADFD financed the King Talal Dam (Dh 21.5 million) and the Wahda Dam (Dh 36.7 million).
In the agriculture sector, the loans are funding an integrated development project of the southern GHURS (Dh 53.04 million) and the development project of Yarmouk River (Dh18.36 million).
In the industrial sector, there is the Al Hasa phosphate mining project Dh100 million and the phosphate fertilisers plant project in Aqaba Dh19 million.
The Fund was not overlooked to support the health sector as one of the most vital sector that serve the local community in Jordan, and within this context, ADFD funded the Children's Hospital project in King Hussein Medical City with a loan of Dh 44.07 million, and gave an additional loan of Dh 29.38 million for the same project. It also funded the improvement and expanding of Al Bashir Hospital project with Dh 70.88 million The roads and transport sector got Dh5 million for the Azraq Road project on the border with Saudi Arabia.