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Press Release

U.S. Signs $165 million Water Assistance Agreement, Donates $183,000 Van to Customs Department

March 18, 2014

Aqaba— During a visit to Aqaba on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Stuart E. Jones signed a $165 million water assistance agreement with Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation and donated a $183,000 scan van made possible by the U.S. Government’s Export Control and Border Security program (EXBS).  While there he also visited alumni of the U.S.-sponsored English Access Microscholarship Program.

The $165 million agreement will assist the Government of Jordan over the next five years with infrastructure development, water sector reform, water management and conservation, and outreach programs at the household, institutional and industrial levels.  During his remarks at the ceremony, Ambassador Jones noted that the U.S. has invested more of its assistance in Jordan’s water sector than in any other sector.  Since 2000, U.S. assistance in the water sector has reached nearly $700 million.

Earlier, the Ambassador visited the Port of Aqaba where he presented a $183,000 “scan van” to Jordan Customs Department (JCD) Director General Munther Assaf.  The van will assist JCD efforts to detect illegally trafficked items. The Ambassador also inspected equipment that is part of the United States Container Security Initiative (CSI).  Launched in January 2002, CSI is aimed at securing maritime cargo shipments facilitating trade, and encouraging investment.  The Ambassador recognized the Government of Jordan for its “significant progress” as it continues to enhance its export control system.  In the last several years, the United States has provided over $14 million in assistance with expertise, equipment, training, and software to support Jordan’s border security, export controls, and non-proliferation efforts through the Export Control and Related Border Security program.

Later the same day, the Ambassador visited with Aqaba Alumni of the U.S.-sponsored English Access Microscholarship Program.  The program teaches English language skills to talented 14- to 18 year-olds from underserved communities.  In cooperation with the government of Jordan, the program has awarded scholarships to nearly 3,500 Jordanian high school students from underserved areas to help them improve their English through classes and an annual summer camp.