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Germany stands firmly by Jordan’s side

Germany stands firmly by Jordan’s side

Germany announced 79 million euros in grants and loans to Jordan Tuesday, increasing the country’s pledged assistance to the Kingdom in 2016 to around 472 million euros.

“This aid aims to help Jordan’s host communities that are affected by the influx of Syrian refugees. It also includes humanitarian assistance and is part of development cooperation,” Germany’s special representative for the Middle East Stability Partnership, Ambassador Joachim Rücker, said at a press conference held on 13 of December.

In addition, two financing agreements for water-related projects were
signed on 13 December 2016. This brings Germany’s total pledges for Jordan to 471 million euros in 2016 alone,” said Ambassador Dr Joachim Rücker, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Middle East Stability Partnership, following a meeting with
Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury in Amman.

“The money will be used for measures in host
communities in Jordan, for humanitarian assistance and for development cooperation,”Rücker added.

“Germany’s contribution is explicitly intended also to help the Jordanian people. Compared to 2015, we have significantly increased our support measures,” continued Rücker.

Rücker stated: “At EU level, we have been strongly committed to EU trade liberalisation. Easing the EU rules of origin is an important step towards boosting trade, investment and
thus economic development in Jordan. It is an important step towards putting Jordan on a sounder economic footing and creating more jobs for Jordanians and also for Syrian
We want to help open up perspectives and offer the prospect of earning a livelihood.” Easier access to the EU market will open up new business opportunities for companies based in Jordan. The EU trade facilitations will also make Jordan more attractive for foreign investment.

Since the beginning of this year, Jordan has already granted around 34,500 work permits to Syrians. “This is a very positive development, and one which we greatly welcome,” said Rücker. Since the London conference, with the Middle East Employment Drive, Germany
has been helping to ensure that more people can earn their own livelihoods.
Since February, 11,046 thousand people in Jordan alone have been found employment, predominantly as teachers or in the waste management/recycling sector.

Referring to the relaxed rules of origin deal with Jordan, Rücker said the deal is an important step towards boosting trade, investment and economic development in the Kingdom.

The official said he held several meetings with Jordanian officials to maximise the benefit of the deal and be able to address challenges facing it.

“It is very important to make the deal come to life,” he said, adding that discussions with Jordanian officials covered preparations for an upcoming meeting in Brussels on January 25 when representatives of some 40 Jordanian enterprises will meet with EU buyers and companies.

In the education sector, too, Jordan, with German support, has taken substantial measures
to enable an additional 50,000 Syrian refugee children to attend school by expanding the“double shift” school system and removing administrative obstacles.

A catch-up programme for another 25,000 Syrian children who have not been able to attend school for a long time
has been set up with help from UNICEF. In the long term, however, there are still hurdles to be overcome, particularly in terms of infrastructure, equipment and the quality of teaching.

Ruecker said that Jordan has achieved about 80-90 per cent of a target set after the London conference to have all Syrian children of school-age enrolled in the scholastic semesters, adding that this percentage is higher than that achieved in other countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury met with Rücker over progress in the Jordan Compact, especially implementing decisions related to simplifying the rules of origin for Jordanian products, the pledged German aid for 2016 and projects in the pipeline .
Fakhoury stressed that the Kingdom had already reached the limit, hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees on behalf of the world, and he urged the international community to honour its pledges to Jordan not only for 2016 but for the next two years.

Germany actively supports Jordan in its aim of enabling all Syrian children of school age to gain access to education.
Ambassador Dr Joachim Rücker has served as Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Middle East Stability Partnership since February 2016. His tasks include pooling and strengthening Germany’s comprehensive commitment in the Middle East, which
is spearheaded by a number of ministries.

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