(Source: European Commission)
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has today disbursed €250 million in macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Jordan. Today’s disbursement is partly from the €3 billion emergency MFA package for ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners, which aims to help them limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19 MFA programme), and partly from Jordan’s €500 million third MFA programme (MFA-III programme), which was approved in January 2020. The first €250 million disbursement to Jordan under these two MFA programmes took place in November 2020.
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, said: “Today’s disbursement of €250 million is testament to the European Union’s ongoing solidarity with the Jordanian people. These funds, released following the fulfilment of the agreed policy commitments, will help the Jordanian economy to emerge from the shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Jordan has fulfilled the policy conditions agreed with the EU for the release of the €250 million disbursement under the COVID-19 MFA programme and the MFA-III programme. These included important measures to improve public finance management, accountability in the water sector, measures to increase labour market participation and measures to strengthen good governance.
In addition, Jordan continues to satisfy the pre-conditions for the granting of MFA as regards the respect of human rights and effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law; as well as a satisfactory track record under the IMF programme.
With today’s disbursement, the EU has successfully completed four out of the 10 MFA programmes in the €3 billion COVID-19 MFA package. Furthermore, the third and final tranche of the MFA-III programme to Jordan, amounting to €200 million, will follow once Jordan fulfils the agreed commitments.
The Commission continues to work closely with all its MFA partners on the timely implementation of the agreed policy programmes.
MFA is part of the EU’s wider engagement with neighbouring and enlargement partners and is intended as an exceptional crisis response instrument. It is available to enlargement and EU neighbourhood partners experiencing severe balance-of-payments problems. It demonstrates the EU’s solidarity with these partners and the support of effective policies at a time of unprecedented crisis.
The decision to provide MFA to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was proposed by the Commission on 22 April 2020 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 25 May 2020.
In addition to MFA, the EU supports the partners in its Neighbourhood policy and the Western Balkans through several other instruments, including humanitarian aid, budget support, thematic programmes, technical assistance, blending facilities and guarantees from the European Fund for Sustainable Development to support investment in the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
This MFA programme is part of a comprehensive effort by the EU to help Jordan mitigate the economic and social impact of regional conflicts and the presence of a large number of Syrian refugees, which has since been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. This engagement is in accordance with the EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities (currently being updated), as confirmed during the fifth Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region on 29-30 March 2021 and the EU-Jordan Association Committee on 31 May 2021.
Overall, the EU mobilised more than €3.3 billion for Jordan since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011. In addition to MFA, EU funding in response to the Syrian crisis includes humanitarian assistance, together with longer-term resilience and development support in areas such as education, livelihoods, water, sanitation and health, addressed to Syrian refugees and Jordanian host communities.
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