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French Version

European Commission to frontload EUR 210 Million in financial support to Jordan and Egypt

European Commission to frontload EUR 210 Million in financial support to Jordan and Egypt to alleviate the negative economic effects of the war in Iraq

The European Commission announced today that it intends to make available an accelerated package of €210M financial assistance in support of Jordan and Egypt to offset the economic impact of the war in Iraq. This emergency assistance will be drawn from existing commitments and is scheduled for quick disbursement to help the two countries most affected by the war to stabilise their economic situation. Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Relations, said: 'We are bringing forward this package of financial assistance to support two Euro-Mediterranean partner countries that have been directly affected by the war. We want to help alleviate the negative social and economic consequences of the conflict, thereby helping to maintain momentum for economic and political reform in the region'. €175 M of the total amount will be disbursed as budgetary assistance to Egypt while the remaining €35M will help to restore the stability of the Jordanian balance of payments.
This important package of financial assistance is designed for quick disbursement. The funds will be made available by reallocating money within the Commission's current financial assistance programmes for Egypt and Jordan. Whilst it is too early to assess the full economic impact of the conflict, Egypt and Jordan are the two neighbouring countries of Iraq whose economies are likely to be most affected by the war.

The detailed conditions and timing of the disbursement of the Egyptian allocation will have to be agreed with the Egyptian authorities in the coming weeks. As regards Jordan, a joint EC/IMF mission will take place around the end of May to assess the financing gap for Jordan in 2003 and to agree with the Jordanian authorities the modalities and timing of the disbursement. Upon satisfactory completion of these discussions, the Commission, after consultation of the MED Committee, will decide on the package. MED Committee

This package of accelerated financial assistance, in response to the conflict in Iraq, will come in addition to the €100M of humanitarian aid already made available by the European Commission, thus bringing the total amount of funds made available to €310 M.

Brussels,05 12 2003
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