IDB seeks funding for Jordan rail project
Jeddah, May 31, 2011
Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is in talks with several global financial institutions to secure funds for Jordan's ambitious $5 billion railway project, said a report.
The project is set to change the region’s transportation pattern and boost trade between IDB member countries linking Jordan with Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi and other GCC states as well as European rail network, the Arab News reported.
Extending some 1,600km, the railway would link the Red Sea port of Aqaba with the Syrian border, through Amman and then the industrial city of Zarqa — the two largest cities in Jordan.
The project would make freight movement faster and easier, cut transportation costs and boost trade, the report said citing Jordanian officials. At present, it is relying heavily on road transport.
Also the project will link the Saudi and Iraqi borders with Jordan’s northern city of Irbid and the northeastern towns of Mafraq and Azraq.
The IDB is currently in negotiations with World Bank and the European Investment Bank for the funds, said the report, citing sources.
Several institutions including EIB, AFD, JICA, World Bank, Arab Fund, Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund and Abu Dhabi Fund have already pledged $2.1 billion, it added.