Joint Statement on the World Bank Group – Partnership with Jordan [EN/AR] – Jordan
The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) and the World Bank Group (WBG) today issued a joint statement following the first visit of a high-level World Bank delegation to Jordan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic:
The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nasser Shraideh, met the World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region, Ferid Belhaj, Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Directors, Dr. Merza Hasan, and advisor to the Executive Director, Fawaz Bilbeisi, during their visit to Jordan from June 8-10, 2021. Minister Shraideh discussed with the WBG delegation the ongoing and key priorities for 2021 and 2022, in particular the continuation support for social protection, job creation (especially for young people and women), the economic and structural reform program, economic recovery and investment promotion.
During a series of meetings with the Government of Jordan (GoJ), the private sector and representatives of civil society, the delegation expressed the WBG’s willingness to continue its efforts to advance its long-standing partnership.
The delegation also reiterated the WBG’s extensive support to help Jordanians get through the COVID-19 crisis and promote a resilient recovery and continued reforms were reiterated, due to the fact that the pandemic has inflicted a heavy economic burden on the country. Kingdom. During the series of meetings held, structural, economic and financial reforms were discussed with a view to helping Jordan meet urgent needs.
The Jordanian economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic amid already weak growth and high unemployment rates. According to the World Bank analysis, the Jordanian economy contracted by 1.6% in 2020. Unemployment rates rose during the fourth quarter of 2020 to an unprecedented level, especially among young people. The pandemic has had particularly profound impacts on the service sector, travel and tourism, which are key sectors for economic growth.
The WBG has adapted its country strategy and is expanding its support alongside the government’s plan to help Jordanians overcome the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis while rebuilding greener and better. This includes emergency health and immunization support, cash transfer programs to support vulnerable households and workers, support to support businesses and preserve jobs and livelihoods, and support. to promote investments in a climate resilient and inclusive recovery.
In the WBG’s 2021 fiscal year (ending June 30, 2021), the WBG and other partners are preparing a package of over US $ 1.1 billion of combined loans and grants for Jordan. This includes additional funding for the COVID-19 emergency response project in Jordan which will enable expanded and equitable COVID-19 vaccine coverage. With the support of the WBG, 40% of the eligible population can be vaccinated to help achieve the goal of 75% of the adult population, which is essential for reopening the economy, schools and hard-hit sectors. The WBG is also preparing an extension of the emergency cash transfer project to support vulnerable households and workers affected by the crisis, under GoJ’s Takaful and Istidama programs targeting an estimated total of 160,000 households under Takaful and more than 100,000 workers under Istidama.
The GoJ and WBG also see the recovery efforts as an opportunity to continue reforms to promote investment-led growth and job creation, reforms that can be felt by Jordanians and the private sector. Since 2018, when Jordan launched the five-year reform matrix, progress has been made on fundamental reforms, such as: a review of public procurement regulations; the adoption of a new law on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP); insolvency and secured transactions laws; climate regulations and monitoring and inspection regulations; launch of licensing reform; and reforms and expansion of Jordan’s social protection system.
As part of its FY21 support program, the WBG will work with the GoJ to continue advancing Jordan’s reform agenda. The Inclusive, Transparent and Climate-Sensitive Investments for Results (PforR) program under final preparation will support the implementation of key reforms that were launched as part of the reform matrix. It will also help Jordan take advantage of post-pandemic recovery opportunities, including green growth, tourism development and female participation in the workforce. By enhancing transparency and accessibility of data, PforR will also help Jordan improve its accountability mechanisms to implement new policies and effective investments.
The World Bank Group is a long-standing partner of the Jordanian people. Through a strong GBM-Jordan partnership, the two sides agreed to continue their on-going cooperation to help the Jordanians get through the crisis and see this crisis as an opportunity to rebuild a better and greener economy, promote driven growth. through investments and create jobs, especially for the youth and women of Jordan, and to strengthen social protection.