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Jordan's emergency services get Swiss aid

Switzerland has agreed to provide SFr18 million ($18.5 million) to help Jordan improve its emergency response services.

As part of her economic mission in Jordan on Tuesday, Swiss President Doris Leuthard signed a deal that will supply about 100 new ambulances as well as training for rescue workers.

The modern vehicles will be able to tackle desert and mountain terrain. Meanwhile, new quality assurance measures will see to it that workers can better cope with emergency response tasks.

The project, scheduled to run from 2011 to 2013, is being financed by Swiss bank loans as well as a grant from Switzerland within the framework of economic development cooperation.

Before returning to Switzerland, Leuthard visited a United Nations camp for Palestinian refugees.

Switzerland provides SFr14 million in funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), half of which goes to Jordan.

Leuthard said the visit gave her a better understanding of the plight of the 100,000 refugees living in the camp. She appealed to all parties involved in the Middle East conflict to show more willingness to compromise.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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