Amman, 10 January 2022 - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Jordan, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed a EUR 4.13 million financial agreement this week to enhance the sustainability and climate resilience of the ongoing interventions under the Rural Economic Growth and Employment Programme (REGEP) in Jordan.
REGEP was approved in December 2014 with an expected completion date of 31 March 2021. The project proved effective in creating employment for youth and women, providing opportunities for them to enhance their skills in horticultural production. It helped improve access to rural credit through the participation of commercial banks in lending to the agriculture sector.
Given the success of the project, an additional loan of US$12.5 million and grant of US$0.7 million was approved by IFAD to consolidate achievements made thus far and expand project areas. With the extension of IFAD funding, REGEP activities will be consolidated in the five governorates covered under the original financing (Mafraq, Al Balqa, Jerash, Ajloun, and Madaba) and will replicate and expand coverage to additional new governorates namely Irbid, Zarqa, Karak, Tafilah and Maan, with the aim to reach an additional 45,000 rural people.
"This additional funding from the Netherlands will focus on activities that aim to increase the rural population's climate resilience. The project is aligned with the Netherlands Multiannual Country Strategy for Jordan to help farmers in Jordan increase yields while using less water," said Dina Saleh, IFAD Regional Director, Near East, North Africa & Europe Division. Saleh signed the agreement by correspondence with has His Excellency Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan.
The overall activities of the project will focus on supporting adaptation to climate-aggravated water scarcity by reducing water use in agriculture through investing in water-efficient irrigation systems, promoting drought resistant varieties, and mainstreaming climate-resilient practices.
"Through investing in water harvesting, the project also aims to provide non-conventional water resources for household use and agricultural activities," said Vrej Jijyan, IFAD Country Director for Jordan. "Investments which aim to support the shift towards better agricultural practices and organic farming through demonstration plots and credit lines will also strengthen efforts," he added.
REGEP has been effective in reaching women, and youth in the target areas. The participation of youth and those below the poverty line has been impressive at 30% and 59% respectively.
IFAD has been a long-standing partner of Jordan for more than 30 years with regard to agriculture and rural development in rainfed and semi-arid areas. To date, IFAD has invested in nine projects with a total financing of US$ 253.77 million reaching 90,727 households in Jordan.
Read more about IFAD work in Jordan.
Press release No.**: IFAD/01/2022
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency based in Rome -- the United Nations food and agriculture hub.
Communication Analyst, Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia