Jordan receives 50,000 metric tonnes of US wheat in grant

28-08-2017 04:55 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Jordan on Monday received 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, which is the second and final shipment of the “Food Programme for Progress” provided by the US Department of Agriculture, a Planning Ministry statement said.

With the shipment, the amount of wheat Jordan has received in donation from the US in 2017 stands at 100,000 metric tonnes, with a value of $18 million.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Water Hazem El Nasser, the Acting Deputy US Ambassador Jim Barnhardt as well as government officials from both countries.

In his remarks, Fakhoury noted that the grant — the 4th since 2012 — was a “recognition” of the comprehensive reform efforts being spearheaded by His Majesty King Abdullah, of the financial and economic challenges Jordan is facing, and seeks to contribute to alleviating the burden of hosting Syrian refugees in the Kingdom.

Jordan has agreed with the US to use the proceeds from the sale of wheat for the implementation of the project Alshidiya-Alhasa/Amman Phase I in the water sector, which will be a “strategic companion” for the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, according to the minister.

Fakhoury said that Jordan benefited from two wheat grants worth $36 million in 2011-2012, noting that the Kingdom was granted an exception as the US wheat grants are usually allocated to the poorest countries, of which the Kingdom is not part of.

The two grants have contributed to the Kingdom’s strategic wheat stock and to the implementation of the Karak dam project, a strategic project in the Jordan Valley region, according to Fakhoury.

Jordan has also benefitted from another wheat grant in 2015 with a value of $25.1 million, which contributed to implementing several priority development projects that were listed in the public budget in the water and agriculture sectors, in addition to supporting the General Department of Food and Drugs, the minister said.

The minister expressed the government’s appreciation for the US support to Jordan, which reflects the advanced levels of the US-Jordanian relations and their strategic partnership.

He also expressed the government’s keenness on further enhancing bilateral ties in all fields, which will contribute to supporting the reform and development plans.

For his part, Water Minister Hazem El Nasser said that the ministry will use the grant’s proceeds to increase the yearly amount of water pumped to Amman by 20mcm.

Barnhardt expressed his delight over the grant, which will finance projects to develop new water sources and the agriculture sector, according to the statement.

The Foreign Agriculture Service affiliated with the US Department of Agriculture has provided four wheat grants to Jordan during the past five years.

The grants were in 2011 with a value of $14 million, in 2012 worth $12 million, in 2015 for $25 million and in 2017 with a value of $18 million, according to the statement.

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