Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be in Jordan, a great friend and ally of the United States and of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. As you know, the U.S. is investing $275 million through MCC to the Government of Jordan, primarily dedicated to the water sector.
Today is a big day; and the expansion of the As Samra wastewater treatment plant we are funding is a testament to the power of partnerships.
Though it was complicated, time-consuming and challenging to arrange, this private-public partnership is a unique venture. Our Jordanian counterparts negotiated this deal with great professionalism, and it is a pleasure to witness today’s signing.
So many of you contributed to this occasion. Today I want to thank:
Minister Najjar - for your perseverance and for the work of your entire ministry to get us to this moment;
Ambassador Jones - for your constant and steadfast support of MCC and for your sure vision of what we are trying to accomplish;
Ministers Hafez and Hassan - though not here with us today in person, they deserve a lot of credit for getting us here today;
Alex Russin and Kemal Zoubi - thank you for assembling an outstanding team whose dedication to the compact will mean so much for so many;
The bank representatives here with us today - for your commitment to getting this deal done and for making some sacrifices in pursuit of a noble cause;
Our private sector partners - for proving that when governments create the right atmosphere for investment, you respond in kind; and
The countless people behind the scenes - there were many, many of you who put in countless hours to get this deal done, and I am very grateful to each and every one of you.
I’m certain I’ve missed someone in the room today. There is, however, someone who isn’t in the room, but she is the reason we are all here.
I met Fatima Ali in Zarqa yesterday. Fatima’s entire income is eaten away by her rent expenses. The water pipes to her home leak and the wastewater pipes overflow regularly. When water does flow in, Fatima uses old paint cans to store it because she does not have proper water storage containers. This must change.
And now we move full force into implementation mode to complete this compact on time and on budget; but above all, to improve the lives of the “Fatimas” of Jordan. That will be the true measure of this compact.
Fatima and her neighbors are counting on us not to give up. They are counting on us to deliver real results through this compact. We cannot fail them. We will not fail them. Thank you so much.