On Sunday, Japan announced the provision of a soft loan and grant worth $106 million to Jordan, which faces a difficult economic situation and huge debt.
The Japanese financial assistance comes as Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa visits the Kingdom, during which he met on Sunday with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Zeina Touqan, at the headquarters of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Amman.
A statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Amman said, “The government of Japan decided to provide a soft loan to support the budget under the name of the Electricity Sector Reform and Flexibility Program Loan with a value of 15 billion Japanese yen (equivalent to about 100 million dollars) to support the Jordanian government in its reform program within the modernization vision.” Economics,” according to Agence France-Presse.
He added, “Hayashi and Toukan also signed and exchanged grant aid memorandums worth 897 million Japanese yen, equivalent to about 6.5 million US dollars, for the project to enhance the operating capacity of the power system.”
According to the statement, “The new assistance grant aims to enhance the operation of the power system by replacing the current outdated protection relays with high-performance digital protection relays in primary substations, thus providing stable and reliable electricity supply in Jordan.”
In a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart, Al-Safadi thanked the “generous support” that Japan provides to refugees and the support directed to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Jordan is facing a difficult economic situation, with an unemployment rate reaching 22.6% in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund, and this percentage among young people rises to about 50%.
Public debt exceeded 100% of GDP in this small country, which was severely affected by the influx of Syrian refugees, lacked natural resources and relied heavily on foreign aid, especially from the International Monetary Fund.
Jordan’s debts, whose economy depends largely on foreign aid, exceed $50 billion.
Neighboring Iraq, Syria, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, and Saudi Arabia, Jordan still hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees, equivalent to 12% of its population, while it also hosts more than two million Palestinian refugees.