150 Jordanian rural development projects get grant from UN-funded program

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AMMAN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- A total of 150 grant deals were signed on Thursday by Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) to fund rural development projects in Jordan under a United Nations-funded program.

The agreements were signed by JEDCO's acting CEO Mohammad Mheirat and the projects' representatives, through the Rural Finance Development and Employment Programme, which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, an international financial institution and specialized UN agency based in Rome, Italy.

Yousef Al-Shamali, general secretary of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, said the Rural Economic Growth and Employment Project (REGEP) is a promising initiative, as its projects align with the 2013-2020 strategy of reducing poverty and unemployment in Jordan, which focuses on reduction of poverty, vulnerability and inequality in rural areas.

Al-Shamali said the Jordanian government attaches great importance and high attention to rural development through providing all kinds of support.

"The REGEP aims at the development of agricultural projects to integrate small-scale farmers in value chains and improve their opportunities to get the needed funding in rural areas, and to improve their capacity building and competitiveness and their contributions to selected value chains in rural areas," he said.

Mheirat said 104 of the agreements, with a total value of 381,000 U.S. dollars, were signed with groups and 46 with individuals in the governorates of Balqa, Ajloun, Jerash, Mafraq and Madaba. Each group gets a grant of 3,000 dollars, while each individual gets 1,500 dollars.

He said that during the past year, 100 grants worth 250,000 dollars were issued to support and develop the value chain for productive agriculture, which helped create 213 jobs.

JEDCO is the national umbrella for developing economic enterprises in the Kingdom, including start-up and innovative enterprises. Enditem

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