The World Bank on 27 March 2016 agreed to provide concessional 100 million US dollar loan to Jordan for creating one lakh jobs for Jordanians and Syrian refugees. The loan will be provided at rates usually reserved for the poorest countries.
The announcement was made by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim during a joint visit of Kim and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Jordan.
Usability of the Loan
• The long-term loan is part of an attempt by the international community to improve conditions for refugees in overburdened host countries Jordan and Lebanon.
• More than 4.8 million Syrians have fled their country since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011. Jordan hosts about 640000 registered Syrian refugees and Lebanon more than one million.
• The financing will be used to develop and strengthen existing special economic zones to attract international and domestic investments. Additional details of the job-creation plans will be announced in coming months.
The concessional loan was announced three days after Lebanon was also awarded 100 million US dollar to ensure universal school enrolment for Lebanese and Syrian refugee children by 2017.
The concessional loan is a part of World Bank Group’s strategy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to promote peace and stability as the necessary conditions for development. The strategy is aimed at focusing directly on the causes of conflict, while helping countries address its consequences and to recover and rebuild. The new strategy is built on four main pillars:
• Restore trust between citizens and their governments with greater accountability and improved services
• Promote increased regional cooperation around the shared priorities of education, energy and water
• Support countries and communities hosting large numbers of refugees, to strengthen their resilience
• Prepare for reconstruction whenever and wherever peace emerges
To raise the volume of financing needed to implement the new strategy, and to rally the international community around the common goal of promoting peace and stability in the region, the World Bank Group has partnered with the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank Group.
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What: Approved by World Bank
When: 27 March 2016