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Jordan, EIB sign 200m-euro soft loan agreement to finance National Water Carrier project

Jordan and the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Sunday signed a 200-million-euro soft loan agreement to finance the National Water Carrier Project (Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Transport Project).

The loan falls within an EIB commitment from a donor conference held in March, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The EIB loan will be part of the Jordanian government's JD250 million contribution ($352 million) to the project, which will provide about 300 million cubic metres of desalinated water annually, to be conveyed from Aqaba to Amman and other governorates.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Zeina Toukan and Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Al Najjar with Gelsomina Vigliotti, vice president of the EIB. The ceremony featured the attendance of European Union Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou.

This is the first agreement signed to finance the National Water Carrier Project, Toukan said, expressing appreciation for the EIB’s support for the project, which is a top priority of the government’s.

Najjar also expressed thanks to the EIB's efforts in support of the water sector in Jordan, noting that the bank supports multiple projects in Jordan and has funded a study meant to assess the environmental impact of the project.   

"Investing in the water industry is investing in the future," Vigliotti said, noting that the National Water Carrier Project will allow Jordan to adapt to climate change and would ensure environmental sustainability by using the potential of renewable energy to complete this project.

She also stressed the EIB's ongoing support for the Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Transport Project.

Hadjitheodosiou highlighted Team Europe's support for global efforts to adapt to climate change, emphasising the importance of this funding for the National Water Carrier Project, which is the EIB's first financial commitment to the Aqaba project.

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