Italy commits $286m in aid to Jordan

Rome: Italy has committed to give Jordan €235 million ($286 million) in aid including grants, loans and debt-for-development swaps.

A Subsidiary Agreement for the Indicative Country Programme (2021-2023) was signed in Amman by Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh and Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Marina Sereni. 

The grant provides €30 million to fund development projects for local communities hosting Syrian refugees and includes arrangements for a debt-for-development swap of €20 million to finance projects that promote inclusive and sustainable development.

A spokesman in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Arab news that the agreement signed in Amman also included €185 million euros in soft loans, with €50 million euros allocated for the national water conveyance project, €85 million to support the health sector through the general budget and €50 million to support the agricultural sector, also through the general budget.

“Jordan is a key partner for Italy and a pillar of stability for the Middle East, both for its moderate and constructive approach to various regional issues and for its decisive contribution in the fight against terrorism and radicalism,” Sereni told Arab News.

She added that, for this reason, Italy is “keen on strengthening relations with Jordan and opening broader areas for joint cooperation, both on a bilateral level and through the EU.”

Sereni said: “Supporting Jordan, enhancing its development process and its security and stability are important issues for Italy and the EU, and we need to work hard on this.”

In a briefing, Shraideh said that “Jordan greatly values its relationship with the Italian Republic bilaterally and in the context of the EU” and that “King Abdullah attaches great importance to the bilateral relations with Italy and is always keen to strengthen and consolidate these.”  

During her visit to Jordan, Sereni met local members of the Parliament and representatives of Jordanian civil society organizations and Italian NGOs operating in the country. She also visited the Palestinian refugee camp in Hitteen.

Established in 1968, about 10 kilometers northeast of Amman on an area of ??0.92 square kilometers, the camp welcomes over 53,000 Palestinian refugees, with thousands of them living in particularly hard conditions.

The Housing Reconstruction in Hitteen Palestinian Refugee Camp project is funded by Italian cooperation and has so far improved nearly 100 housing units for the benefit of nearly 500 residents.

“Through projects like these, Italy demonstrates in a concrete way its commitment to solidarity in favor of the weakest. It is a constant and long-standing commitment we have to continue even in the face of new humanitarian emergencies,” Sereni said.