Washington, DC, October 12, 2013 – Jordan and the World Bank signed today a grant for US$10 million which is part of an over US$50 million support program aimed at strengthening local governments’ service delivery and the municipalities’ capacity to host Syrian refugees. The Jordan Emergency Services and Social Resilience Project will improve living conditions in cities and towns most affected by refugee inflows.
Ibrahim Saif, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation represented the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa represented the World Bank Group in the signing ceremony held on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings.
“I am very pleased that we were able to mobilize such sizeable grants for Jordan at this critical time, building on the World Bank’s existing engagement with the municipalities and on the excellent collaboration we have had with Jordan’s development partners, in particular the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada,” said Andersen. “This project fits into a broader program of support the Bank is providing Jordan with in response to the impact of the Syrian conflict, starting with the $150million emergency project approved in July.”
The World Bank grant is part of the US$53 million program of support to the Jordanian Ministry of Municipal Affairs co-financed by the Bank-administered State and Peace Building Fund along with the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada. The Project will initially support municipalities most affected by refugee inflows. Municipalities will be able to finance additional public services and programs to help improve living conditions, reduce communal tensions and enhance social cohesion. Emergency preparedness systems will be developed which will enable municipalities to ramp up delivery of urgent services and reach out to communities. It will enhance the institutional capacity of government and communities and strengthen resilience to external crises and shocks.
"The aim of the agreement we signed today is to support local communities in their capacity to handle the large inflow of Syrian refugees," said Minister Saif. "The funds allocated will be disbursed to nine municipalities that are providing services to refugees and have been most affected by the large influx."
As of last month, over half a million Syrian refugees are estimated to have crossed into Jordan, constituting a significant increase in the Jordanian population. While some of the refugees are housed in camps, the majority — 70 percent or more — live in urban centers, where they share space, resources and services with their Jordanian hosts. The rising influx of Syrian refugees has rapidly expanded the population of many towns, increased the burden on public service provision, worsened already stretched public finances, and impacted jobs and wages.