(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Jordan and Germany on Tuesday signed a 30 million euro soft loan agreement to finance the second phase of the Water Resources Management Programme and an 8.5 million euro grant to help meet the water needs of Syrian refugees.
The funds, to be extended by the German Development Bank (KfW), will go towards the construction of a pipeline between Khaou and Zaatari, which is part of the Disi Water Conveyance Project, to supply Zarqa and the northern governorates with water.
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jafar Hassan indicated that the soft loan carries a 2.5 per cent interest rate, a grace period of four years and a maturity period of 15 years.
Hassan and Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar signed the agreement with KfW Director for North Africa and the Middle East Wolfgang Reuss in the presence of German Ambassador to Jordan Ralph Tarraf.
The grant signed on Tuesday, meanwhile, will go towards supplying Syrian refugees in Jordan with water and reducing pressure on the water supply in the northern governorates.
Another 1.5 million euro grant will also be extended to Jordan to support planning and management units at the water ministry.
"Germany is one of only a few countries that responded quickly by providing urgent aid to Jordan to help the country in hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees," Hassan said during the signing ceremony.
According to Najjar, part of the grants will be used to reduce energy consumption in the water sector, which consumes nearly 14 per cent of all electricity generated in Jordan.
He noted that the French government will finance the construction of a pipeline between Abu Alanda in south Amman and Khaou in Zarqa, which is the first phase of supplying Zarqa and the northern region with water through the Disi project.
Najjar expected the projects to be concluded in two years.
As Jordan suffers severe water scarcity, it is important for Germany to support the water sector, Tarraf said, adding that the German relief agency has built water networks inside the Zaatari Refugee Camp near Mafraq.
What Germany is offering is small compared to the burden Jordan is bearing by hosting Syrian refugees, he added.
The KfW director noted that more cooperation projects between Amman and the bank are in the pipeline, with some to be concluded in the coming months.
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