World Bank changes strategy in Jordan


Published: 2021-05-29 12:22

Last Updated: 2022-05-19 22:06

World Bank changes strategy in Jordan
World Bank changes strategy in Jordan

Saturday, the World Bank Group's  Board of Executive Directors approved a 'Performance and Learning Review' that summarizes the progress made in the framework of the World Bank Group's strategic partnership with Jordan for the fiscal years (2017-2022).

It added a new pillar to the strategic partnership framework centered on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, and green, comprehensive and resilient recovery.

The review also extends the period of the strategic partnership framework with Jordan for an additional year (until fiscal year 2023) to support its citizens during the coronavirus crisis, and also to promote the implementation of the key reforms needed to achieve investment-led growth, in addition to job creation.

While Jordan has maintained a fragile balance despite mounting regional and domestic pressures during the Strategic Partnership Framework period, its economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic amid already low growth, a high unemployment rate among its citizens, as well as an increasing public debt.

According to World Bank analyzes, the Jordanian economy contracted by 1.6 percent in 2020; The unemployment rate increased to 24.7 percent in the last quarter of 2020, and unemployment rates among Jordan's youth reached an unprecedented rate of 50 percent.

Also Read: Unemployment rates among Jordanian youth reaches unprecedented rates: World Bank

In its response to the crisis, the Performance and Learning Review includes an update of the Strategic Partnership Framework with Jordan by adding a new pillar to the World Bank Group’s “Coronavirus Pandemic – Supporting Effective Response and Resilient Recovery.”

For this purpose, the World Bank Group has mobilized additional financing of more than $1.1 billion, in addition to new and ongoing projects to support Jordanians in facing the effects of the pandemic and rebuilding the Jordanian economy in a better and greener way.

This additional funding includes support for health emergency measures and the provision of coronavirus vaccines, cash transfer programs to support families and workers in the most vulnerable categories, support for businesses and the preservation of jobs and livelihoods, and the support needed to enhance public and private investments to achieve a comprehensive and resilient recovery in the region.

The new pillar also includes an action plan to increase and make economic opportunities available to Jordanian women as an integral part of recovery efforts, a review of Jordanian human capital focusing on addressing the challenge of youth employment, as well as a climate and development report for Jordan to obtain the best guidance for green recovery.

In addition, the performance review and learning supports the results-based focus on unlocking priority reform areas to address structural challenges in the Jordanian economy and open markets and stimulate investment as one of the main drivers of recovery and growth. During the period covered by the performance and learning review, Jordan made progress on institutional reforms aimed at improving the public and private investment environment and contributing to economic growth and job creation.

These reforms include the following:

- Reviewing and revising internal regulations for government procurement

- Adopting a new law for public-private partnership

- Enacting laws for insolvency and secured transactions

- Developing an internal climate regulation and internal regulations for government monitoring and inspection operations

- Initiating the reform of the licensing system, and introducing reforms of the social protection system in Jordan and the expansion of its umbrella.

Commenting on the performance and learning review, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nasser Al-Shraideh expressed his appreciation towards the “long-term partnership with the World Bank Group in supporting the Jordanian government in implementing its reform program with the aim of achieving economic growth and development by improving the business environment to attract investments, as well as to unlock the potential of The participation of the private sector to contribute to sustainable economic development, and thus create job opportunities for both women and youth.”

Shraideh also emphasized the importance of the role of the World Bank Group in supporting Jordan in responding to the pandemic crisis, especially in the social protection and public health sectors.

Commenting on the same, the Regional Director of the Mashreq Department at the World Bank, Saroj Kumar Jha reaffirmed the group's commitment to adjusting its program to support Jordanians to face the complex effects of the pandemic.

According to the performance and learning review, the World Bank Group program has expanded significantly during the period covered by the Strategic Partnership Framework with Jordan and that more than 80 percent of the objectives listed at the time of the design of this framework have either been exceeded, achieved, or are on the right track.

The performance and learning review identifies key areas of action and coordinated efforts by group member institutions and their partners.