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Marshall Plan for the Middle East

Minister Müller in talks with Jordanian government regarding investments in economic development, crafts and trades, and infrastructure

Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller in talks with the Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour

Press release of 26.01.2016 |

Amman – An investment and infrastructure programme together with targeted measures to promote economic development are planned, to help Jordan get to grips with the current situation. Jordan, a country with a population of 6.5 million, has accepted more than 600,000 Syrian refugees. In talks with the Jordanian government, Federal Minister Gerd Müller has been sounding out possibilities for creating legal options for Syrian refugees to find work in Jordan.

Commenting on the situation in Jordan, Minister Müller said: "Almost 90 per cent of the Syrian refugees in Jordan have found a place to stay in villages and small towns. By investing in the infrastructure of these local communities, for example by building housing, schools and community centres, we can help create jobs for tens of thousands of refugees and local people. This will make staying in the region a viable option for the refugees and at the same time boost the local economy. With an investment and infrastructure programme like this we are taking an important step in the direction of a Marshall Plan for the region. We need some kind of Marshall Plan in order to be able to deal with the refugee crisis and so that Syria can be rebuilt once the war is over."

This year the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is launching a programme aimed at creating jobs for Syrian refugees in the region. Furthermore, targeted measures are planned to specifically encourage the founding of new businesses in both the commercial and the trades sector. The BMZ is working on the development of education and training programmes specifically for this purpose, for example in collaboration with the German-Jordanian University in Amman. The aim is to give refugees the possibility to earn a living and support themselves and their families, thereby mobilising investments in the region.

During his visit to Jordan, Minister Müller was able to see at first hand the activities Germany is engaged in with a view to developing infrastructure and boosting the economy. For instance, thanks to German support, 800,000 people now have access to a proper water supply, 200,000 people have electricity and, over the last two years, 130,000 Syrian refugee children have been able to go to school. Over the past two years the BMZ has tripled its funding for activities to combat the crisis in Syria and Iraq, investing a total of 640 million euros in these measures.

In the afternoon, Minister Müller embarked on the next stage of his journey, travelling to Mersin in Turkey. The third and final destination on this Middle East visit will be northern Iraq.

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