AMMAN (Petra) – The Jordanian government has taken a number of measures to realize the payment of five billion US dollar worth of grant from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif said on Monday.
The measures, he added, were also aimed at ensuring that the projects, to be funded by the GCC states, can be completed after removing all obstacles facing these ventures.
The minister made the remarks during a panel discussion organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan on the performance of the Jordanian economy and the utilisation of the GCC grant. About $500 million of the $5 billion grant were expected to be spent by this year-end, Saif said, voicing the hope that the money would prove a catalyst for the economy.
Jordan, the minister said, has signed agreements with the Gulf Arab states for projects worth 52 per cent of the total grant amount to be made available over a period of five years, adding that these projects will be in the energy, water, public works, housing and local development sectors.
A governmental team was set up to manage the GCC grant, he said, noting that the team will follow up the execution of the projects funded by this money and also secure further funds for other planned projects. The team is also in charge of coordinating with the donor countries as far as fulfilling various requirements and documents needed for obtaining this money were concerned.
Further, the minister said that some projects take a long gestation period to mature in terms of time taken for planning, feasibility studies and issuance of tenders.
Referring to the national economy, the minister said that the Jordanian economy was expected to grow by three per cent by the end of this year, affirming that the growth, although humble, was still understandable in the context of the ongoing turmoil in the region.
He also noted the ongoing influx of Syrian refugees was exerting an additional burden on the national economy, public budget and services offered to the citizens.