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Jordan and World Bank initiate new 5-year plan for sustainable growth and employment

Jordan Daily – The World Bank Group (WBG) and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation launched today the new Jordan Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2024-2029 which aims to support inclusive and green growth and promote job creation, especially for youth and women.

According to a statement , the new 5-year CPF marks the next phase of the strong and long-term partnership between Jordan and the WBG.

Over the past two decades, the Kingdom has shown remarkable resilience in navigating exogenous shocks and crises. Jordan has also contributed significantly to the international community by hosting Syrian refugees, leading the way on climate action, and promoting peace and prosperity in a challenging region. Yet, Jordan has averaged 2.2% growth over the past decade, unemployment is at 21.3% and despite recent gains, female labor force participation hovers around 15%.

“The new CPF focuses on harnessing Jordan’s greatest source of wealth—its human capital, particularly youth and women—and integrates climate action in the country’s growth model,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Middle East Department. “The CPF will support the successful implementation of Jordan’s economic and public sector modernization reforms and help strengthen the country’s resilience to future shocks.”

The CPF will support Jordan to deliver on its Economic Modernization Vision (EMV) and its Executive Program, and the Public Sector Modernization Roadmap. The new WBG strategy will focus knowledge and analytics, pipeline programs, and partnerships on three High-Level Objectives: 1) creating more and better private sector jobs by focusing on high-priority investment-enabling reforms and high-potential sectors; 2) improving human capital outcomes—targeting education reforms linked to future jobs, the health sector, and more sustainable social protection support; and 3) increasing resilience and sustainability, including in the water, energy and urban development sectors. The CPF also includes people-centric governance, digitalization, and support for Jordan as a refugee host as focus themes across the country program.

Partnerships are at the heart of this new CPF. Its implementation will leverage the comparative advantages and close cooperation between organizations of the WBG: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The WBG will also work with a range of bilateral and multilateral actors on partnership platforms that crowd in private sector, green, and concessional finance.

“The private sector can serve as a tremendous driving force for growth and job creation in Jordan,” said Aftab Ahmed, Regional Director for the IFC. “Through this CPF, the WBG will continue to support reforms that can unleash the power of the private sector and boost competitiveness, especially in high-potential sectors such as digital development, tourism, and climate related services, paving the way for better employment opportunities, including for young people and women.”

To prepare the CPF, the World Bank Group held extensive country wide and online consultations across the Kingdom and along the Jordan Trail with key stakeholder groups, including the government, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, academia, and development partners.

“The new CPF reiterates the long-term partnership that Jordan enjoys with the WBG. It will assist Jordan to deliver on its development priorities under EMV Executive Program 2023-2025, and the Public Sector Modernization Roadmap, through the mobilization of various financial and technical support instruments, to realize economic growth, improve key services, and enhance private sector development,” said H.E. Zeina Toukan, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

Two new anchor operations were also approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors for a total amount of US$576 million, that will support the early implementation of the CPF, and which are expected to be signed within the coming period.

The first, the Jordan People-Centric Digital Government Program for Results (PforR), financed by a US$321 million loan and a US$29 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF), aims to enhance public service delivery and expedite digital transformation. The GCFF, established in 2016, provides concessionality to loans of GCFF partner Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to support middle-income countries that provide a global public good by hosting large numbers of refugees. To date, the GCFF has provided Jordan US$593 million in grants that has enabled US$2.9 billion in loans on concessional terms from GCFF partner MDBs to support Jordan to tackle the impact of the refugee crisis as well as to address host community needs. The GCFF contribution made available to Jordan under this operation was provided by the Government of Japan.

The second, the Enhancing Women’s Economic Opportunities Operation, financed by a US$221 million loan and a US$5 million grant from the Early Learning Partnership’s Invest in Childcare Initiative, addresses key constraints to women joining and staying in the labor market. This includes creating a more enabling workplace environment, financial inclusion, and access to quality childcare and public transportation. Aligned with the EMV’s Engendered Strategy launched in December 2022, the operation supports Jordan’s goal of increasing female labor force participation by 2033.

The CPF implementation will build on the WBG’s strong active portfolio in Jordan that has grown over the past decade. IBRD’s current portfolio consists of 18 projects valued at US$4.1 billion, IFC’s investment program in Jordan has doubled since 2010 (with committed exposure of US$538 million), and MIGA’s exposure in Jordan is the third largest in the MENA Region, at US$545.8 million.

Through this new phase of the partnership, the WBG recognizes the important role Jordan plays in the region and globally; and reiterates its commitment to assist the Kingdom in delivering on its modernization agenda, harnessing its human capital, and partnering with the private sector to realize its aspirations for inclusive and green growth and jobs for the people of Jordan.

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