U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Stuart E. Jones has signed a $165 million water assistance agreement with Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation and donated a $183,000 scan van made possible by the U.S. Government’s Export Control and Border Security program (EXBS).The $165 million agreement will assist the Government of Jordan over the next five years with infrastructure development, water sector reform, water management and conservation, and outreach programs at the household, institutional and industrial levels. Ambassador Jones noted that the U.S. has invested more in Jordan’s water sector than in any other sector via assistance programs. Since 2000, U.S. assistance in the water sector has reached nearly $700 million, he said.
Earlier, the Ambassador visited the Port of Aqaba where he presented a $183,000 “scan van” to Jordan Customs Department (JCD) Director General Munther Assaf. The van will assist JCD’s efforts to detect illegally trafficked items. The Ambassador also inspected equipment that is part of the United States Container Security Initiative (CSI). Launched in January 2002, CSI is aimed at securing maritime cargo shipments facilitating trade, and encouraging investment.Meanwhile, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin thanked the USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Amman for the aid and grants provided to the port city of Aqaba. The water and tourism sectors, he added, were the main sectors that benefited from the U.S. aid.Later in the day, the Ambassador visited graduates of the U.S.-sponsored English Access Microscholarship Program. The program teaches English language skills to talented 14- to 18 year-olds from underserved communities. In cooperation with the government of Jordan, the program has awarded scholarships to nearly 3,500 Jordanian high school studentsfromunderserved areas to help them improve their English language skills through classes and an annual summer camp.