Irbid Wastewater Network to be Co-Financed by EU

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said the EU has agreed to co-finance a multi-million euro project to construct new wastewater network in Irbid, a city that has been forced to absorb thousands of Syrian refugees over recent years.

“The European Union … is providing €20 million in grants to co-finance an EBRD investment of €25 million for the construction of a wastewater network in the city of Irbid,” the EBRD said in statement, adding the project would also receive financing of 2.1 million euros from the World Bank and 5.9 million euros from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

The total finance package will be used to connect households in 15 towns to sewerage networks leading to the Wadi Al Arab wastewater treatment plant. It will also finance the installation of pumping stations, the EBRD said.

Population growth following Syrian refugee resettlement has put unprecedented strain on the local wastewater network, placing extra pressure on the outdated infrastructure for wastewater collection. Through this initiative, over 105,000 residents of the western part of Irbid’s governorate, 18 percent of whom are Syrians, will have sanitation services for the first time, according to EBRD’s press release.

Currently only 63 percent of Jordanians have access to wastewater networks and treatment systems. The western Irbid wastewater project is the third of its kind to be implemented by the EBRD in the Kingdom.

The agreement was signed during the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Jordan by the EU Ambassador to Jordan, Andrea Fontana, and the EBRD’s Regional Director of the Eastern and Mediterranean region, Heike Harmgart.

Since Jordan joined the EBRD in 2012, the Bank’s investments have exceeded $1 billion in 40 projects benefiting various sectors of the country’s economy.