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Economic Opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian Refugees Program-for-Results

The establishment of the GCFF has responded to both a humanitarian and a development imperative. It offers lessons for other international efforts that aim to catalyze global public goods in response to cross-border challenges. We are thankful to all donors and call upon their continued support.

Franck Bousquet-Senior Director / Fragility, Conflict, Violence and Forced Displacement The World Bank Group

Implementation Support Agency: World Bank

Loan Amount: $300 million

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $51 million

One of the two projects approved at the inaugural GCFF Steering Committee meeting on July 28, 2016, in Beirut, this program began the process of bridging the gap between humanitarian and development assistance in international support for Syrian refugees and the communities that host them. In so doing, the project aims to turn the refugee crisis from a drain on Jordan’s economy into an opportunity to help fuel the country’s economic growth. The $300 million program, which consists of both grants and loans with concessional interest rates, is helping to close the gaping government budget deficit brought on by the impact of the Syrian war and the influx of huge numbers of refugees. This is allowing the government, for its part, to move forward with three key reforms that are crucial to boosting the Jordanian economy even as the refugee crisis persists: 1) granting Syrian refugees work permits, 2) improving Jordan’s investment climate, and 3) attracting investments.

AIN GHAZAL WASTEWATER PROJECT (JORDAN)

The project will assist greatly in protecting the environment and increasing the amount of reclaimed water available for irrigation in the Jordan Valley.

Dr. Hazim El-Naser-Minister of Water and Irrigation Jordan

Implementation Support Agency: EBRD

Loan Amount: $47.2 million

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $2 million

This project – also approved at the inaugural GCFF Steering Committee meeting– aims to improve the operational capacity of the wastewater system serving 1.8 million inhabitants of the Greater Amman and Zarqa areas. The $48 million project is funding construction of a new 30.4 km wastewater pipeline to link the severely overstrained Ain Ghazal pre-treatment plant on the outskirts of Amman with the As-Samra wastewater treatment plant, Jordan’s largest such facility. The need for this project – implemented with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – stems from unprecedented population growth in the affected area driven primarily by the rapid influx of Syrian refugees.

Lebanon Roads and Employment PROJECT

Implementation Support Agency: World Bank

Loan Amount: $155 million

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $45.4 million

This was the first GCFF initiative approved for Lebanon. Its objectives are to both improve the transport connectivity along select portions of the country’s paved roads and create short-term jobs for Lebanese and for Syrian refugees. The $200 million project is expected to directly create about 1.5 million work days through short-term jobs in the construction industry. Substantial additional jobs will be created in Lebanon’s supply chain industries and engineering and consultancy services. Local economies will benefit from increased demand for local goods and services, while business competitiveness will improve due to improved road connectivity. The $200 million project, financed and executed by the World Bank, includes a $45 million grant from the GCFF.

Jordan Energy and Water Development Policy Loan

Improving the efficiency of the water and energy sectors, and the consequent savings, will provide the Government with the fiscal space needed to invest more in economic development projects and improve the living conditions of citizens.

Dr. H.E. Imad Fakhoury-Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jordan

Implementation Support Agency: World Bank

Loan Amount: $225 million

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $25 million

The objective of this $250 million loan is to help Jordan confront severe strains in its electricity and water sectors, along with the two sectors’ mounting public debt, both problems brought on by the influx of Syrian refugees. The program provides direct budget support to ease the government’s debt servicing bill, and delivers technical assistance to support the government’s efforts to reform the energy and water sectors. The reforms aim to improve the financial viability and increase recent efficiency gains in these two key sectors. The program, which is being financed and executed by the World Bank and builds on an earlier Bank assistance program, is officially known as the Second Programmatic Energy and Water Sector Reforms Development Policy Loan.

Lebanon Health Resilience Projects

The GCFF has built valuable partnerships that allow us to look at the bigger picture and lay the foundations for coping with the current crisis while continuing to grow and create opportunities for the longer term.

H.E. Ghassan Hasbani-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Lebanon

Implementation Support Agency: World Bank and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Loan Amount: $120 million ($120 million World Bank, $30 million IsDB)

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $29.9 million

These loan programs were designed to increase access to quality health care for thousands of poor families in Lebanon—both Lebanese and Syrian. Health care in Lebanon suffered from structural problems even before the Syrian crisis. The influx of Syrian refugees has put enormous added pressure on health services and contributed to rising tensions in a nation vulnerable to conflict and instability. The $150 million projects are being financed in parallel by the World Bank ($120 million) and the Islamic Development Bank ($30 million). They aim to reach 715,000 people.

Jordan Emergency Health Project

Implementation Support Agency: World Bank and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Loan Amount: $115 million ($100 million World Bank, $50 million IsDB)

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $34.9 million

This emergency loan program was established to maintain the delivery of primary and secondary health services to poor, uninsured Jordanians and Syrian refugees. The program is initially targeted at helping approximately 2.4 million people (2.1 Jordanians and 331,000 Syrian refugees), though the number of refugees covered may increase. The access of this population to critical health care is at risk, as the influx of large numbers of Syrian refugees has put severe strains on the delivery of basic health services. There is a shortage of health workers, and waiting times have increased.

Jordan West Irbid Wastewater Project

Implementation Support Agency:EBRD

Loan Amount: $48.2 million

GCFF Concessionality Amount: $2.5 million

The goal of this loan program is to strengthen Jordan’s resilience to the Syrian refugee crisis by addressing urgently needed rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment system in the north of Jordan, which hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees. Their presence has placed immense strain on already overstretched wastewater services. The total project cost is about EUR 44 million, including a grant of EUR 19 million from the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, also known as the Madad Fund, and a EUR 25 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Jordan Education Program for Results (PforR)

Total Project Amount : (US$) 200,000,000

Disbursement: (US$) 77,170,000

The Jordan Education Program for Results (PforR) seeks to improve the quality of education for both Jordanian and Syrian refugee children by expanding access and improving quality of early childhood education, improving teaching and learning conditions, reforming the student assessment and certification system, and strengthening the education system management. The result areas have a common objective to enhance the quality of education available to Syrian refugees. By 2022, an estimated 160,000 Syrian refugee children are projected to have benefitted from the Program’s specific interventions. The Program targets an increased enrolment of 30,000 students into the formal sector. In addition, the Program provides a very comprehensive set of activities and actions for making the education system more results-oriented.

Greater Beirut Public Transport Project

Total Project Amount : (US$) 345,000,000

Disbursement: (US$) 0.00

The Greater Beirut Public Transport Project aims at improving the speed, quality, and accessibility of public transport for passengers in the city of Beirut and the city’s northern entrance. Low and middle-income Lebanese and Syrians living in the Greater Beirut area will directly benefit from the project by using the system for their transportation needs. The project will also contribute to reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and improved mobility. The BRT system will be almost fully accessible to persons with disabilities and will introduce measures, such as well-lit stations, professional bus drivers, security cameras in buses and stations, and security guards at stations and select buses, in order to increase women’s ridership. The project will also improve traffic safety with the introduction of about 25 pedestrian bridges along the Northern Highway. The project is expected to create about 2 million labor days of direct short-term jobs in the construction industry, most of it for low-skilled Lebanese and Syrians. The project’s coverage will benefit over 50 percent of Lebanese and Syrians living in Lebanon.

Lebanon National Jobs Program PforR

Total Project Amount : (US$) 400,000,000

Disbursement: (US$) 0.00

The Lebanon National Jobs Program PforR aims to support the creation of 100,000 jobs in Lebanon over the medium-term for Lebanese women and youth that are unemployed or inactive, as well as for Syrian refugees. To achieve this, the Government of Lebanon will implement reforms to enhance the environment for private investment, catalyze job creation through a focus on trade and exports, and expand and enhance active labor market programs targeting women, youth, and Syrian refugees. These reforms are also expected to generate temporary employment opportunities for Syrian refugees created from the construction associated with the development of trade zones, PPP investments, and expansion of broadband Internet infrastructure.

Jordan First Equitable Growth and Job Creation DPL

Total Project Amount : (US$) 500,000,000

Disbursement: (US$) 500,000,000

The Jordan First Equitable Growth and Job Creation DPL aims to set the foundations for higher economic growth in Jordan by supporting measures that improve the competitiveness and ability to export of Jordanian business, foster a more flexible and inclusive labor market and a more effective social safety net, and improve the Government’s fiscal sustainability through revenue mobilization and more efficient government spending. These measures will benefit Syrians in the country by waiving work permit fees for them, increasing economic opportunities through work permit issuance in select sectors, introducing a minimum wage, and strengthening social assistance institutions. Other indirect benefits may come from the support to the development of services and SMEs in Jordan, a reduction in barriers in the labor market, as well as the implementation of a secured transactions regime, which will make borrowing easier for those without property.

Monitoring Impact
GCFF-funded operations feature a series of development objectives and results indicators to measure the progress and impact of projects, as approved by the ISA’s board of directors. Specifically, the GCFF Operations Manual requires the relevant ISA to “monitor and evaluate overall Project performance in accordance with its policies and procedures.”
The Coordination Unit and the Trustee therefore have no direct responsibility for M&E of the operations themselves.

The ISAs are required to provide progress reports every six months (as per the template on page 39) as well as following completion of each project. The progress reports are submitted to the Coordination Unit for compilation and distribution to the Steering Committee for informational purposes.
Each ISA is also responsible for reporting financial information on a six-month basis.

The results framework for the GCFF, which can be found in its Operations Manual, is focused on the provision of concessionality to financing from ISAs for projects that address the development impact of the influx of refugees, as well as on improved coordination among Benefitting Countries, Supporting Countries, ISAs and others around such ISA financing. Each ISA is also required to include in its funding request information on its results framework, which should be specific to each project.

The operational updates are used to evaluate performance, including performance ratings provided in the individual progress reports; levels of disbursements; and lead time to effectiveness. The information is used in discussions around solutions to bottlenecks and other issues which may affect progress of the project. For this purpose, the Operations Manual provides an M&E template with a subset of results and indicators that focus on how the project addresses the impact of the influx of refugees. ISAs are required to provide 2-3 key measurable indicators which can be selected from a list of sample indicators in the Operations Manual, as per the menu below.

As more project results become available, the Coordination Unit will work to report on the impact of the GCFF at an aggregate level. Doing so will require leveraging partnerships with entities that have strong presence and analytical capacity on the ground in refugee-hosting areas. Efforts are already under way in this regard, including outreach to well-placed potential partners in both Jordan and Lebanon.