$1.6 billion more funding
by international donors
Grants and soft loans
shared by Lebanon and Jordan
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Eight countries and the European Commission have pledged a package of more than $1 billion to a World Bank-led financing initiative in support of Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as recovery and reconstruction across the region.

The package is composed of $141 million in grants, $1 billion in soft loans, and $500 million in guarantees. “The new facility will be able to generate up to $800 million in concessional loans in the next year,” according to a statement by the World Bank.

US, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and the European Commission each pledged their initial financial contributions to the ‘New Financing Initiative to Support the Middle East and North Africa Region’.

The pledging occurred at a ministerial conference co-chaired by the President of the World Bank Group, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said: “These grants mean we can now begin expanding programs to help Jordan and Lebanon cope with the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis, while guarantees will allow multi-lateral development banks to increase their financing in support of countries across the region confronting the multiple consequences of instability.”

Through innovative financing, the initiative plans to provide concessional financing to Lebanon and Jordan, the middle-income countries most severely impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis, expand the funding available to countries struggling with slow growth and high youth unemployment as a result of instability, and to prepare for post-war reconstruction.

IDB President Mohamed Ali Al-Madani said: “The region faces enormous challenges, and our development assistance is needed now more than ever, but it is critical that we unite to leverage our various comparative advantages. This approach received a resounding endorsement today, and it will guarantee that our assistance has maximum impact and that it addresses the full scope of the challenges.”
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Apr 20, 2016