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EBRD, UK and EU expand wastewater infrastructure services in Jordan

EBRD, UK and EU expand wastewater infrastructure services in Jordan
The financing agreement was signed on June 10, 2024, in the presence of Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, by Sue Barrett, EBRD Director of Infrastructure, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Zeina Toukan, Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, and Jordanian EBRD Governor (photo courtesy EBRD).

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it has signed an agreement with Jordan’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to extend a financing package to the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ). The funding will help provide essential wastewater services and connections to communities and refugees in the West Irbid region.

Jordan is among the top 10 water-stressed nations globally, facing severe water scarcity challenges, a growing population, and a significant influx of refugees.

The City of Irbid is a significant hub of agriculture and economic activity but lacks sustainable water solutions. The investment will help the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) to treat collected wastewater for irrigation and promote sustainable water management in the region.

We are delighted to promote the sustainability of Jordan’s municipal sector in partnership with the EU and the UK government. We are committed to providing support for improved sanitation services to the local and refugee populations in Jordan and, more importantly, helping to alleviate the challenges of water resources and scarcity in the country. We extend our appreciation to Minister Toukan for the excellent partnership, said Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

Over €27 million in funding

Totaling €27.1 million, the financing package consists of an EBRD loan of up to €17.1 million, along with an investment grant of €7.2 million from the UK Government under the High-Impact Partnership on Climate Action (HIPCA) and a €2.75 million investment grant from the European Union under its Neighbourhood Investment Platform.

The financing will contribute to the construction of a new and efficient wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in the area of West Irbid to complement the wastewater networks financed by the EBRD in 2018.

Once completed, the new facility will have the capacity to treat 12,000 cubic metres per day (m3/d), thereby enhancing the quality and treatment of wastewater in the West Irbid region.

It will provide sanitation services to surrounding towns for the first time and serve both local communities and refugees who have settled in the area.

The funds will be accompanied by a comprehensive technical cooperation package by the EBRD to support project preparation and implementation.

A further technical cooperation program will be provided to assist the WAJ in introducing inclusive procurement practices, fostering capacity-building, and providing on-the-job training opportunities for underserved groups, including youth, women, and people with disabilities.

The West Irbid wastewater treatment plant, which will be implemented over a period of four years in terms of construction and operation, complements the existing project (West Irbid Wastewater Network)   aiming to provide wastewater services for 17 villages in West Irbid, reaching approximately 200,000 people by 2045. The new treatment plant has a total capacity of 12,000 cubic meters/day and the treated wastewater will be reused in irrigating surrounding agricultural land, said Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Zeina Toukan.

The HIPCA was launched by the EBRD and partner governments in 2021, supported by Austria, Canada, Finland, South Korea, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan ICDF, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Since 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €2 billion in Jordan through 72 projects.

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