Washington DC, June 13, 2017— The World Bank Group has committed US$50 million to support the Government of Jordan in maintaining the delivery of primary and secondary health services to poor uninsured Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
The assistance approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Directors is part of a larger US$150 million project, which is being financed in parallel by the Islamic Development Bank. The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank support will help extend critical health services to 3.5 million beneficiaries. Both projects are being provided on concessional terms through support from the Global Concessional Financing Facility.
The Jordan Emergency Health Project, which is partially supported by the Bank-administered Global Concessional Financing (GCFF), will help the Ministry of Health continue to provide critical health care to target populations at a time when the influx of Syrian refugees to the country is putting severe strains on the delivery of vital basic services.
“The Government of Jordan has been extremely generous in hosting and providing public services to a large number of refugees from Syria, but this has compounded the fiscal stress on the Kingdom’s health system,” said Kanthan Shankar, Acting Director of the World Bank Middle East Department. “Emergency concessional financing is thus vital to assist the Jordanian Government in moving from a humanitarian to a development response”.
The project will disburse against achieved results and pay for the delivery of independently verified health services such as maternal and child health care and the treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases. It will also provide technical assistance and capacity building to help improve the efficiency of the health sector.
“The refugee influx has been associated with a reemergence of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and measles affecting both Syrian refugees and their host Jordanian communities,” said Aaka Pande, World Bank Senior Health Economist and Task Team Leader. “In terms of citizen satisfaction, the influx has led to increased waiting times and a shortage of health workers. This threatens to reverse the substantial gains achieved by the Jordanian health sector over the last decade and impact the health of all. By partnering with the Islamic Development Bank and the GCFF, we are able to maximize available resources to the Government of Jordan and support their efforts to help the most vulnerable both poor uninsured Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
In addition to its short-term objectives, the project aims to prepare a roadmap of ways to improve the efficiency of the health system in the medium to long term.
The Jordan Emergency Health Project brings the World Bank Group’s total commitments to Jordan to US$808 million, of which US$600 million is on concessional terms due to funding from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) and the International Development Association (IDA). The GCFF was launched in 2016 to provide concessional financing to middle income countries hosting large numbers of refugees in light of the global public good they are providing.