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    World Bank approves $350m to support Jordan’s vulnerable households affected by pandemic-

    March 23, 2022

    AMMAN — The World Bank approved $350 million in additional financing for Jordan’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project to continue cash support to poor and vulnerable households and workers in firms most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Cash transfers give poor and vulnerable households money for their basic needs, so they can channel what they have into health and education to develop human capital, according to a World Bank statement.

    The Jordan Emergency Cash Transfer COVID-19 Response Project Second Additional Financing will also help the government launch reforms to advance an Economic Empowerment Programme, which aims to integrate poorer sections of the country’s population into the labour market.

    This will provide more sustainable economic opportunities for project beneficiaries, the statement said.

    The project will also continue to strengthen Jordan’s overall social protection system to support the government’s efforts towards achieving an effective COVID-19 crisis response and resilient recovery.

    The new financing will also improve the cost-effectiveness of government social safety net programmes, such as the National Unified Registry (NUR), which will function as a single gateway for access to a range of social services and programmes.

    Use of the platform will reduce the cost of administering social assistance, read the statement.

    “The additional financing will support the government’s efforts to bring several cash transfer programmes together under the Unified Cash Transfer programmes,” said Naser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

    “Programmes funded by the project will also contribute to building a shock-responsive social protection and will support the government’s efforts towards the recovery from the aftermath of COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

    Saroj Kumar Jha, Mashreq Regional Director, World Bank Group said: “The additional financing will support poor and vulnerable households and workers who are still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.”

    'The project is also supporting continued reforms of Jordan’s social protection system, which has been strengthened through the crisis and is becoming a model in the region and globally in digitisation, information management, efficiency, and in providing links to economic opportunities and empowerment,” he added.

    The bank’s additional support will also partially finance the extension of the Estidama programme. The Government of Jordan launched Estidama in December 2020 to provide wage subsidies to 110,000 formal workers in firms most affected by the pandemic, a move that protected workers from loss of income while keeping firms solvent and operational, read the statement.

    As many firms are still struggling to pay wages, the government has decided to extend Istidama until June 2022.


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