Germany, Jordan sign $36.5m debt relief agreement

Germany has agreed to write off $36.5 million worth of debt in return for Jordan's spending half the amount on designated development projects, including a German-language university. The German Embassy announced the debt relief in a statement Monday that said the German Development Bank Cooperation and Jordan's Ministry of Finance had agreed that Jordan would spend dinars 12.5 million ($17.6 million) of its budget on certain projects in poverty alleviation, sanitation, and education. The educational allocation will develop the newly established German-Jordanian University in Amman. After the amount has been disbursed, the German government will cancel $36.5 million of Jordan's debt to Germany, the statement said. The statement did not disclose Jordan's total debt to Germany, but it said similar arrangements have been agreed in the past. Cash-strapped Jordan is saddled with a foreign debt of about $7 billion. Unemployment is estimated at 15 percent and 25 percent of the country's 5.1 million people are regarded as living in poverty.