The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is improving water supply and modernising wastewater treatment facilities in Jordan with a sovereign loan of €30 million, co-financed by a €30 million grant from the European Union (EU).
Under the EBRD’s Municipal Resilience Refugee Response Framework, these funds will enable the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation to build a modern wastewater treatment plant. This plant will increase the network’s capacity to serve households and will be able to reach up to 1 million people, including Syrian refugees living in Amman and Zarqa, who are not connected to the mains network.
The new wastewater treatment plant in Al Ghabawi will have a capacity of 24,750 m3 per day and will replace an existing facility in Ain Ghazal. The plant will also contribute to mitigating environmental risks.
In addition, 200 young people will receive certified training opportunities and employment in construction and facility management skills, funded by the Netherlands through the EBRD’s Southern and eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account (which is supported by Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Taipei China and the United Kingdom).
The signing ceremony, held at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, was attended by Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mohammad Al-Najjar, Minister of Water and Irrigation, Maria Hadjitheodosiou, EU Ambassador to Jordan, and Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director for the eastern Mediterranean region.
Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director for the eastern Mediterranean region, said: “We are very proud to support the government of Jordan to build a modern wastewater treatment plant, which will provide services for households not connected to the mains system in Amman and Zarqa. More importantly, this service will alleviate the environmental impact of the current reception facility in Ain Ghazal, and increase Jordan’s resilience in areas that host refugees, who are affected by the ongoing water crisis.”
Maria Hadjitheodosiou, EU Ambassador to Jordan, stressed that “the EU is committed to helping Jordan to achieve integrated and sustainable management of its water sector. The intended support for the Al Ghabawi project stems from this particular commitment, in which the EU, its member states and financial institutions, focus on nexus models, which integrate green solutions in the energy, water and food sectors. The project will improve people’s lives in these communities, offer training and employment opportunities, and contribute to Jordan’s efforts to meet its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, expressed his appreciation for the ongoing EBRD and EU support for Jordan, highlighting the Bank’s efforts to mitigate the impacts related to receiving Syrian refugees. He said: “While the project is timely, given the challenging economic and financial conditions in Jordan resulting from Covid-19 and the impact of hosting Syrian refugees, we realise that boosting the economy would require more large-scale investments to increase growth rates and thus employment generation.”
Mohammad Al-Najjar, Minister of Water and Irrigation, said: “This is a strategic project in the water sector in Jordan, as it will increase wastewater collection in Amman and Zarqa, as well as reduce the biological load at the As-Samra wastewater treatment plant. The project will improve the environment and reduce the movement of tankers in the Ain Ghazal area, which will solve traffic problems. We value the long-standing partnership of the EBRD and EU with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and appreciate the significant improvements to Jordan’s water sector.”
Since the start of its operations in Jordan in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €1.5 billion in the country through 61 projects. Under the EBRD’s Municipal Resilience Refugee Response Framework, a total of €180 million of EBRD financing and €130 million in grants has been mobilised to date. The Bank’s priority in Jordan is to support sustainable energy, finance private enterprises and promote infrastructure reform.