Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour announced that the government will soon launch an “ambitious and real” programme to generate 10,000 job opportunities through projects that will be available within few weeks. Ensour said during a ceremony to distribute prizes to winners of the King Abdullah II Award for Free Works and Entrepreneurship, beneficiaries of the Development and Employment Fund DEF programmes, that the government transferred JD3 million to the Governorates Development Fund GDF two weeks ago and a further JD12 million will be made available before the year’s end. “That brings to JD15 million the total contributions to the fund, which underlines the government’s seriousness to live up to its pledge to provide jobs to Jordanians in all governorates,” he added. The Prime Minister said his government will take bold measures to achieve sustainable development and push development to the governorates through the GDF, financing medium- and small-size projects and enacting the Governorates Executive Programme, stressing the national institutions’ commitment to achieving fair and comprehensive development and opening new scopes for citizens. Ensour, who deputized for His Majesty the King at the prize-awarding ceremony, stressed that microfinance is, on the one hand, a viable means to curb poverty and unemployment and curtail demand on civil service jobs, on the other, particularly in view of an inflated government job sector. He noted that the government had, in its response to the royal letter of designation, committed to promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and putting mechanisms in place for providing small and easy loans in underprivileged communities as well as encouraging initiative and free enterprise. DEF Director General Omar al Omari said that since 1991, the fund had helped the launch of more than 70,000 small- and medium-size enterprises at a total financing cost of over JD160 million that generated more than 85,000 jobs in urban and rural areas as well as in the Badia and refugee camps across the country.