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    EBRD’s investments in Jordan double in 2021


    January 28, 2022 - JT

     

      AMMANThe European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) more than doubled its investment in Jordan in 2021, supporting six projects worth 168 million euros. Thirty per cent of its investments were in green economy initiatives.

      One of the bank’s key investments was a $100 million financing package to help Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) address working-capital constraints by replacing short-term financing borrowed at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis with a longer-term facility, according to an EBRD statement

      The EBRD continued to help the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) finance priority solid-waste investments in the capital, including a financing package for the construction of landfill cell number 6, and to increase the capacity of an existing landfill gas-recovery system.

      The bank’s assistance came in the form of an EBRD loan of JD7.9 million and a European Union (EU) grant of 5 million euros.

      The EBRD also supported Jordan’s wastewater sector by providing a 30-million euro-loan, supported by a 30 million-euro EU grant, to finance the construction of a new 22,500 m3/day wastewater treatment facility at Al Ghabawi.

      The plant will serve 5.5 million people, including 600,000 Syrian refugees in Amman and the surrounding areas.

      The bank also introduced a pioneering urban sustainability programme that provided Amman with a new bus fleet in a bid to promote green transport and reduce pollution and energy consumption. It was funded by a €14.8 million EBRD loan for 15 electric and 136 Euro V diesel buses, co-financed by Green Climate Fund (GCF) support for EBRD Green Cities.

      The Green Financing Facility is another important programme supported by the GCF and the EU. It was launched in 2021 to boost green investments in the private sector in Jordan through local partner financial institutions.

      The EBRD created more partnerships with local banks under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) to support the resilience of the Jordanian economy and foster trade activities. It provided a $50 million trade facility to the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, enabling it to provide cash financing for pre-export, post-import financing and local distribution.

      Under the EBRD’s small business advisory programme, supported by the EU, the EBRD gave technical advice to 148 SMEs on how to grow and develop their businesses.

      The EBRD set a new record for gender- and inclusion-focused projects in Jordan in 2021, increasing the proportion of its projects with an inclusive or gender-focused component to 50 per cent.

      The bank launched the Sector Skills Councils platform to support various sectors, including hospitality and tourism, emphasising the importance of women’s representation on the boards of the councils, in line with their participation in corresponding sectors.

      Funded by the MENA Transition Fund, the EBRD contributed to the establishment and launch of the National Centre for Innovation, a central hub for private and public innovation in Jordan.

      Since the start of its operations in Jordan in 2012, the EBRD has provided close to 1.65 billion euros to 64 projects.

      Continuing its support for the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region in 2021, the bank made 1.5 billion euros of new investments in 37 projects, of which 72 per cent were in the private sector and 42 per cent were in the green economy. Two-thirds of projects had a gender inclusion component.

      The region also continued to benefit from strong donor support, including from the EU, the EBRD SEMED Multi-Donor Account, the Green Climate Fund, the Global Concessional Financing Facility and other bilateral and multilateral donors.

      Across all of its regions, EBRD green financing hit a record 5.4 billion euros in 2021, or 51 per cent of the bank’s total annual investment volume of 10.4 billion euros. This was a significant increase on the 29 per cent green share of total financing reported in 2020, coming under the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.

      The strong showing follows the bank’s twin commitments to align all of its investments – by the end of this year – with the goals of the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change, a decision taken by its Board of Governors at last July’s Annual Meeting, and to make the majority of its annual investments green by 2025, the statement said.

      The 2021 green financing result was a key element in the EBRD’s second-highest annual business volume ever. The record of €11 billion was set in 2020, when the bank’s investments were buoyed by emergency lending at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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