Jordan Development Efforts

By | May 16, 2021

Estimated GDP: US $ 44 billion (2020)

Per capita income (purchasing power parity, PPP): US $ 9,100.00 (estimated 2020)

Human Development Rank (HDI): 102 (of 189) (2019)

Proportion of poverty: Not specified

Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 33.7 (World Bank 2010, no recalculation since)

Economic Transformation Index (BTI): Rank 57 of 137 (2020)

Domestic development efforts

Development orientation of government action

In the ranking of human development (United Nations), Jordan currently ranks 102nd and is classified as a country with “High Human Development”. Viewed over several decades, Jordan has made a great leap forward, but progress has stagnated in recent years. Since the 1950’s, the Jordanian state has been actively trying to improve the infrastructure (water management, road construction), medical care and, above all, education within the framework of multi-year planning. Comparatively high levels of government investment in all areas of the education system – from elementary schools to universities – led Jordan to “export” skilled workers to the Arab world from the 1960’s onwards.

At the beginning of the 1980’s, Jordan got deeper and deeper into national debt, partly because of the rise in oil prices. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank ordered the country a structural adjustment program, ie the cancellation of social benefits, the privatization of ailing state-owned companies and the orientation of financial policy towards monetary stability. King Hussein I implemented these requirements only hesitantly, probably for fear that unpopular measures could cost him the loyalty of traditional allies.

Since his enthronement in 1999, King Abdullah II has prescribed a comprehensive reform course for the country: from regional development projects such as the free trade area in Aqaba as well as a number of other reform initiatives and national agendas under the title ” Jordan 2025 “, which focus on reforms in the economy, administration and education.

Jordan Carpenter in the school for the deaf in Salt

Foreign development efforts

Multi- and bilateral development cooperation

According to ezinereligion, the national coordination of international development cooperation in Jordan lies with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC). The MOPIC collects information about planned and ongoing projects as well as the amount of annual development aid for Jordan. Jordan’s most important multilateral partners are the United Nations Development Program UNDP and the World Bank, with which Jordan has agreed a five-year plan for 2017-2022. In third place is the European Union, which defines its relations with Jordan through the European Union’s Liaison Office in Amman. In 2016, the EU defined the eastern and southern Mediterranean countries (including Jordan). Jordan’s large partners are mainly active in the areas of water, general infrastructure, poverty reduction, education and good governance. In addition, cultural and scientific projects are also funded, such as archaeological research.

The main bilateral donor countries are the USA, Japan and Germany. In addition, Jordan receives governmental and non-governmental development aid from the Arab Gulf states. Other relevant bilateral partners of Jordan are Great Britain, Canada, Spain, Denmark (family aid).

In addition to state development cooperation, a number of international non-governmental organizations are also active in Jordan.

German-Jordanian development cooperation

For the BMZ, Jordan is one of around 60 so-called “bilateral partners” within the framework of the 2030 reform concept published in 2020. The cooperation focuses on the priorities of renewable energies, water, education, vocational training and employment promotion as well as on the support of refugees and host communities.

Germany is the second largest bilateral donor to Jordan after the USA. In 2019, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) made more than 290 million euros available. Since the beginning of the Syrian mass exodus to Jordan in 2012, the German federal government has supported Jordan with a total of almost 2 billion euros.

Since the early 1950’s, Jordan has been a regional priority country for German development cooperation because of its pro-Western stance and its geographical proximity to Israel. The water sector is at the center of bilateral German-Jordanian development cooperation. The BMZ sees the promotion of sustainable use of water in Jordan and other countries in the region as a “peace and security policy task”. Great importance is also attached to the topic of climate change / climate protection. Other focal points are social development, democratization as well as economic development and job creation. The following is a (not entirely complete) list of German institutions that are involved in development cooperation (IC) with Jordan.

  • Society for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW)
  • DAAD branch in Amman
  • Goethe Institute Amman
  • German-Jordan University
  • German Archaeological Institute in Amman

Other development actors are the German political foundations, which are currently using their locations in Jordan or in the region for numerous Iraq-related activities:

  • Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Amman office
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Amman office
  • Friedrich Naumann Foundation Amman Office
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation Ramallah office
  • Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Ramallah

In addition to the organizations that have offices in the country or region, there are a number of German-Jordanian cooperations that are controlled by non-governmental organizations in Germany. The Evangelisches Missionswerk Süd supports the Schneller School in Amman.