| 21 June 2021, Monday | النسخة العربية

World Bank adapts its program in Jordan to boost inclusive growth amid pandemic

The World Bank adapted its aid program in Jordan by adding a new pillar to enhance women’s economic opportunities to help the kingdom steer its post-Covid economic recovery.

The Washington-based lender also mobilized $1.1 billion in additional financing for new and pipeline projects to help Jordan weather the additional impacts of the pandemic.

This is part of the performance and learning review of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) – which guides the lender’s support to a country. The performance and learning review summarizes the CPF for Jordan for the fiscal years 2017-2022. It also added a new pillar, a human capital review focused on youth employment, as well efforts to stimulate a sustainable “green” recovery.

“The [World Bank Group] is committed to adapting its program to support Jordanians to weather the multiple layered impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, including impacts on their health, education, and livelihoods,” Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq regional director, said.

Jordan, which relies on foreign aid and grants to finance its fiscal and current account needs, is trying to overhaul its economy and cut state subsidies as public debt and unemployment are on the rise.

The kingdom is also looking to boost oil production and expand its non-oil economy, however, a large number of Syrian refugees and the outbreak of Covid-19 have deepened its economic and fiscal woes.

Jordan’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, exacerbating its low growth, high unemployment and growing debt.

The kingdom’s economy contracted by 1.6 percent last year, while unemployment rose to 24.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The World Bank also estimates that half of Jordan’s youth are unemployed.

Jordan also made progress on some reforms required for economic recovery during the performance and learning review period, the lender said. Some of the reforms include a revision of the bylaws for public procurement; adoption of a new private-public partnership law, legislation on insolvency and secured transactions, a climate bylaw and bylaws on monitoring and inspections; the launch of a licensing reform; and the expansion of Jordan’s social protection system.

Launched in 2016 in the context of the Syrian crisis, the Jordan CPF focuses on encouraging a private sector-led growth and improving unemployment opportunities.