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  • USD 59 million for the procurement of vaccines and health equipment
  • The programme supports Jordan’s adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (HKJ) signed a USD 59 million loan agreement to support the country’s healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Health will use the EIB funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines (once available) and the implementation of the vaccination campaign, and for other necessary medical supplies and equipment, personal protective equipment, ambulances and other medical vehicles.

The Bank’s funding will help to implement the Government’s National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan in order to limit the spread and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the country. It comes in the framework of the NC COVID-19 public healthcare programme loan, which was approved by the EIB Board of Directors in June 2020. Moreover, the operation is part of the EU’s Team Europe response to COVID-19, which seeks to combine resources from the EU, Member States, and financial institutions to support vulnerable partner countries in responding to the immediate health crisis.

The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, H.E. Nasser Shraideh expressed his gratitude to the European Investment Bank for its support to Jordan. He said, “the EIB financing comes with favourable conditions. As a critical development partner, the EIB has provided critical financing to vital sectors of the economy and has financed a number of feasibility studies in multiple sectors.”

The Minister went on to say that the EIB stepped up its support to Jordan as a response to the challenges posed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic under the umbrella of the European Union response to the pandemic outside the European Union.

Dario Scannapieco, Vice President of the EIB commented on the signature: “It is important to reinforce the capacity and capability of the Jordanian healthcare system to protect people against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our new financing demonstrates EIB’s commitment to support Jordan and its resilience against external shocks and pandemics like COVID-19. Our new financing will enable the purchasing, distribution and delivery of vaccines, once available, as well as needed healthcare equipment to control the pandemic and mitigate its impact.”

The EU Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Maria Hadjitheodosiou, indicated that “this timely operation, as a part of the Team Europe initiative, will reinforce Jordan’s COVID-19 response and ensure that the vaccine is available in Jordan as soon as possible to protect people’s lives and support the local health sector.” She stressed that “this project is fully aligned with, and reinforces the EU’s partnership with Jordan, and is complementary to further financial assistance towards Jordan’s COVID-19 response via the Madad fund and the EU’s Macro Financial Assistance agreements.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIB has stepped up its operations to support the Jordanian economy. In addition to its support to the health sector, the Bank extended a total of EUR 170m in credit lines in 2019 to support private sector businesses with a focus on SMEs that have been severely affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.