Press Release

MCC and Jordan Sign $275.1 Million Grant for Water Projects

For Immediate Release

October 25, 2010

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes and Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar signed a $275.1 million compact to reduce poverty through economic growth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nassar Judeh witnessed the compact signing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

With limited access to surface water or naturally recharged aquifers, Jordan ranks among the five most water-poor countries in the world. The compact will focus in Zarqa, one of the poorest and most urbanized areas of the country, where water delivery systems are antiquated and leak substantially, sewer systems either don’t exist or require repair, and wastewater treatment facilities are taxed.  Most households receive water only once or twice a week and depend on expensive outside sources of water—such as bottled water or tanker truck water—to meet their basic needs. The compact will increase the supply of available water by improving water delivery, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment.

“MCC recognizes the importance of water infrastructure to reducing poverty and is committed to promoting access to clean and reliable water,” said MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes. “MCC applauds Jordan’s work in developing this compact and looks forward to the successful implementation of the program.”

The $275 million grant will fund three integrated projects focused on improving water supply, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment and reuse. These projects will improve water delivery, decrease costs of potable water, and upgrade in-home water systems. They will also increase the amount of wastewater collected for treatment and reduce the incidents of sewage overflow. Finally, the compact will increase the volume of treated water that is available as a substitute for freshwater for non-domestic uses.