November 2010 – Jordan and the World Bank Group are at an advanced stage in the preparation of a Country Partnership Strategy that will determine the scope and focus of the financial institution’s support to the kingdom’s development and reform ambitions for the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
A Bank team headed by Country Director, Hedi Larbi, and comprising a number of experts was in Amman October 19-October 28 for official discussions with the Government on the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which is the business plan that guides the Bank’s social and economic development work in client countries.
The discussions with the Government interlocutors culminated in agreement on the overarching goal of building resilience for inclusive growth and job creation. To this end, the Bank’s proposed strategy would focus on two themes:
- Strengthening fiscal management to create fiscal space to enable the Government to counter economic shocks; and
- Laying the foundation for inclusive growth and competitiveness.
The Bank team carried out dialogue with other stakeholders, including the private sector, labor representatives and the civil society in a series of consultation sessions during the mission’s visit. The participants broadly endorsed the strategic directions of the CPS and provided valuable feedback on which sectors and reforms were a priority.
The consultations highlighted the development challenges which the various stakeholders share: Fiscal consolidation; a more competitive economy; water scarcity, women participation in the economy; unemployment among youth; quality of education; and cost-effective energy.
The CPS for Jordan, a joint document being prepared by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the International Finance Corporation, the Bank’s private sector arm, builds on the Government’s 2005 National Agenda and on the more recent Executive Development Program unveiled by the current Government in December 2009.
The World Bank Country Director expressed his deep appreciation to the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jaafar Hassan for facilitating the Bank’s mission and the consultations. He also thanked all the Government ministers and institutions for allocating considerable time and efforts to support the CPS process.
“The consultations, both with our counterparts in the Government and the non-governmental stakeholders, were extremely useful,” Larbi noted. “The outcome of this mission will help the Bank team draft a realistic, results-oriented and insightful CPS,” which is expected to be finalized and submitted to the Bank’s governing body, the Board of Executive Directors, for discussion next spring.
Larbi lauded Jordan’s “excellent cooperation and commitment to the Bank’s ongoing portfolio in Jordan,” which currently comprises eight projects, totaling US$288.5 million, focusing on infrastructure, urban development, education and social protection.
In November 2009, the Bank approved an additional US$300 million as a Development Policy Loan, a standalone program that provides support to key economic policy areas.