The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement on 27 May with the Jordanian government for a ¥24bn ($190mn) loan to support ‘Amman’s fiscal and public service development policy. This aims to reform Jordan’s debt management and public services. JICA says the government has been spending a large proportion of its budget on the supply of electricity and water, for which demand has been boosted by an influx of 630,000 Syrian refugees, almost equal to 10% of Jordan’s population.

JICA says the loan will support reforms in electricity tariffs, the diversification of energy sources for electricity, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the water sector, as well as water infrastructure improvements in the north where Syrian refugees continue to be accepted. Recent IS escalation of attacks throughout the region suggest the flow of refugees will not stop any time soon (MEES, 29 May). (CONTINUED - 194 WORDS)