AMMAN, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) on Monday agreed to provide around 96.5 million U.S. dollars in loans to Jordan for infrastructure projects, said the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.
Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury met with the AFESD Director General and Chairman Abdullatif Youssef Al Hamad, and discussed enhancing cooperation between Jordan and the AFESD.
At the meeting's opening, Fakhoury expressed the Jordanian government appreciation for the fund's continuous support to the Kingdom's efforts in facing the economic and social challenges, according to a statement by the ministry.
The minister announced AFESD's preliminary approval of funding Irbid's ring road through a concessional loan worth 49 million dollars, and Salt's ring road at a cost of 47.5 million dollars.
The project aims to improve land transport in the governorates and neighbouring regions, said Fakhoury.
The fund also agreed to purchase a CT scanner for the King Hussein Cancer Centre through a grant worth 981,000 thousand dollars as well as the project planning to expand the storages, offices and courtyards of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation in Ghabawi at a cost of 655,000 thousand dollars, according to the minister.
During the meeting, Fakhoury outlined the current economic and financial situation in Jordan generated by the regional unstable political and security situation and the Syrian crisis's repercussions, which have become a heavy burden affecting finances and the quality of services provided to both residents and refugees.
He noted that Jordan has reached its maximum limit in shouldering burdens generated by regional crises and their humanitarian repercussions such as hosting large numbers of refugees.
He stressed that the international community's lack of commitment to support the Kingdom would seriously affect continued governmental services to refugees and residents.
The planning minister highlighted the AFESD's role in aiding Jordan to overcome financial challenges.
As for Al Hamad, he commended the Jordanian government's efforts in dealing with economic issues, especially those related to refugees and various reform plans, stressing the fund's commitment to support the Kingdom in its development efforts to tackle the challenges it is currently facing.
The fund has contributed to 47 critical economic and social development projects in Jordan between 1975 and 2016 with a total value of 1,914 billion dollars.
During the same period, AFESD also provided 35 million dollars in grants, and 80 million dollars in soft loans to fund small-and-medium sized enterprises.