It is yet to be known whether or not Deputy Prime Minister Dr Jawad Anani had concluded the study assigned to him by Cabinet, on the effect of Brexit on the Jordan support programme, passed by the London Donors Conference.
Prior to the unpleasant surprise by the Brits, a wave of caution took on the official midsts of donor countries committed by the Conference, as Britain reassured commitment to the Donor Conference outcomes, along with other international partners.
Jordan, so far, has received preliminary financial support, dedicated to building education capacities, which comprises only a minor part of grants promised. Jordan, on their part, has to respond to preconditions entailing the employment of Syrians and the conclusion of works related to European markets, which has been underway for months, pending ratification by the EU this summer.
Out of nowhere, the Brexit mixed things up. Some think Britain, about to launch negotiations to exit the European Union, will be unable to follow through the Donors commitment; that it may be more feasible to find another European partner for the job, or engage in direct negotiations with EU institution sin Brussels at once.
In this context, regardless of attainable recommendations, it is definite that recent developments will affect the programme for the current year at least, negatively, until an alternative British action plan to the annulled one is devised.
This, additionally, also means that the deficit in Refugee budgets will increase this year, to levels above the outlined criterion for the International response plan. Subsequently, this will reflect on the level of services provided to Syrians, as well as on the Kingdom’s budget as a whole, already strained under chronic deficiency and emergent deficits incurred by the growing influx of refugees in Jordan.
Dealing with the Syrian refugee file, on international and regional levels, is facing more and more difficulties. The European arrangement with Turkey, as well, is facing major implementation problems that may cause its suspension. All in all, international organisations do not seem to be in a situation that allows to keep up with the building needs and necessities of refugees and humanitarian crises.
However, out of the whole region, Jordan’s the only country now in a critical situation, with the building issue in Rukban, on the Syrian side of the order, and international pressures to reopen the passage for aid and admit humanitarian situation.
Up until yesterday, Jordanian officials have been resisting these pressures, but it is difficult to fight two battles at once; saving the London Conference, and the Border Blockade.
A new approach needs to be devised to alleviate pressures on Jordan, and avoid escalation and intensification with international parties, which may reflect negatively on aspired support.
Jordan has not the cards Turkey has, and cannot threaten the EU the way the Turks do. All we have is to power up the diplomatic device, as once we did, to aggregate as much global support as possible on one hand, and control the borders equation, effectively and flexibly, on the other.