(MENAFN- Jordan Times) Since 2012, Poland has been providing humanitarian aid related to the migration crisis, including in Lebanon and Jordan. In addition, Palestine is among the priority countries of Polish development cooperation. Therefore, in order to preserve the coherence of participation in the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) with the Polish aid strategy, the funds contributed by Poland will be directed first of all to Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) was obliged by the European Council in March 2016 to take action to meet the challenges of the migration crisis, by launching additional funding to support sustainable economic growth, key infrastructure and social cohesion in the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans.
According to the identified needs of the above countries affected by the influx of refugees emerge two areas within which the EIB can contribute to sustainable economic development: Integration of refugees in local communities through, among others, their professional activation and support for infrastructure investments (road, water, sanitation, urban and rural infrastructure, health, education, renewable energy and energy efficiency, etc.) and related ones providing social security (accommodation, hospitals, schools, etc.). The funds will also be directed to the development of the private sector through increasing access to finance and creating jobs.
Poland — like other EU countries — received in March 2017 an invitation to participate in the European Economic Investment Initiative.
Poland, as the first EU country, signed a contract with the EIB on participation in the ERI, with a payment of 50 million euros.
Poland's payment is the highest declared so far and becomes a reference point for payments from other EU countries, being at the same time the largest — so far— donor. The remaining countries are: Italy (45 million euros declared), Slovakia (2 million euros), Slovenia (500,000 euros) and Luxembourg (400,000 euros).
Poland's participation in the ERI initiative is a consistent implementation by the government of a strategy for responding to migration/humanitarian crises in the world, according to which the most effective form of support is assistance provided in countries of origin or neighbouring countries.
Joining the ERI is a Polish contribution to taking on the most serious development, humanitarian and migration challenges in the union's neighbourhood.
Poland's participation in the ERI will be focused on activities in Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank, which is consistent with the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-2020.
The Polish contribution to the ERI will be directed at priority areas and territories indicated in the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for the years 2016-2020.
The payment of Poland to ERI is also part of the broader government strategy for the activation of Polish enterprises on the international arena by participating in tenders for the implementation of investment projects co-financed by international financial institutions in the support regions.
Andrzej Swiezaczynski is Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.
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