US transfers $845m in cash to Jordan as part of aid package

The kingdom is a leading ally and one of the largest recipients of US assistance

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Queen Rania arrive for lunch ahead of a meeting with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-CA, in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 26, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
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The US and Jordan on Sunday signed an agreement for the transfer of $845 million in cash to the Jordanian government in the final instalment of a five-year aid package.

Margaret Spears, Jordan’s deputy mission director at the US Agency for International Development, said the money would be used to “cover key Jordanian government obligations in the areas we work together on”, including salaries.

She said water and education were among the main sectors where the funding would be used.

Jordan, which has a long border with Israel, is an important US ally in the Middle East.

The kingdom signed a military pact with the US last year under which it will provide more logistical and other support for several thousand US troops stationed there.

Jordan's economy has been mostly stagnant for more than a decade and unemployment is at 23 per cent, leaving it dependent on assistance from the US, Europe and regional allies.

The transfer agreement on Sunday concludes a five-year, $6.4bn aid package signed in 2018.

In September, the US and Jordan signed an agreement for another $10.1bn in aid to be disbursed over seven years, an increase of 16 per cent on an annualised basis.

Ms Spears described the aid package as “unusual” in terms of its length as well as its inclusion of a large proportion of cash transfers.

“It shows the significance of the US-Jordan relationship,” she said.

The new package is yet to be approved by Congress. It proposes $610m a year in cash transfers, $350m in annual development assistance, $400m in security assistance and another $75m every year to support economic reforms in Jordan.

Henry Wooster, US ambassador to Jordan, said the amount might be increased by Congress.

“This is the minimum threshold,” he said.

Updated: November 27, 2022, 6:52 PM