Washington DC, June 27, 2018 - The World Bank Group announced today new support to Jordan to promote inclusive economic growth, create more jobs, and expand the National Aid Fund cash transfer program to cover an additional 85,000 households.
The new support comes in the form of US$500 million in concessional financing to support the government’s ongoing reforms to improve the economy and business climate by reducing business costs fostering competition, and increasing exports.
The First Equitable Growth and Job Creation Development Policy Loan (DPL) will also expand social safety nets to protect the poorest against economic shocks, boost job creation, and improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The program will have a specific focus on creating opportunities for young people and women.
"The World Bank reiterates its unwavering commitment to support Jordan at this critical juncture," said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. "The new Jordanian government has the opportunity of a fresh start to build consensus for reforms based on a broad consultative approach. We look forward to supporting Jordan’s efforts to unlock the potential of its human capital, increase its competitiveness, kickstart growth and boost job creation"
The program will support reforms to reduce business costs and improve market accessibility as a way of boosting productivity. At the same time, creating flexible and integrated labor markets and better, more efficient social assistance will allow more Jordanians to work, and allow those that do not have employment or decent incomes to benefit from social assistance.
"The broad set of actions stipulated by this program will set the foundations for higher growth and employment in Jordan," said Christos Kostopoulos, World Bank Lead Economist and Co-Task Team Leader. "In particular, flexible and part-time work opportunities are expected to promote a higher labor participation rate among women and youth, thus increasing their economic empowerment."
The US$500 million DPL consists of a grant of US$111 million from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) and a non-concessional portion of US$389 million. The non-concessional portion has a fixed spread and a final maturity of 35 years, including a grace period of four and a half years. Launched in 2016, the GCFF provides concessional financing to middle income countries hosting large numbers of refugees at rates usually reserved for the poorest countries. The Program brings the World Bank Group’s total commitments to Jordan to US$1.3 billion, of which US$1.1 billion is on concessional terms.