Saudi transfers another $334 million to Jordan in latest assistance package

The move comes after the announcement of a $2.5 billion aid agreement by Saudi, the UAE and Kuwait

Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Al Razzaz attends the 29th Conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union in Amman. Reuters
Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Al Razzaz attends the 29th Conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union in Amman. Reuters

Saudi Arabia has transferred over $300 million to the Jordanian central bank in the latest assistance package designed to ease the financial strain in Amman.

Last June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait announced a $2.5 billion aid package that includes a mix of development aid, financial guarantees for further World Bank assistance and direct cash injections.

The latest package of 334 million (Dh 1.2 billion) was announced by Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan on the sidelines of the “Jordan: Growth and Opportunity,” conference, Al Arabiya reported on Sunday. Kuwait and the UAE are involved in a plan to extend more assistance to Amman.

“We have agreed to support Jordan through the Arab Fund, and we are discussing additional support with our brothers in Kuwait and the UAE,” Mr Al Jadaan said.

Jordan is struggling with high unemployment, slow growth and the impact of hosting over 1 million Syrian refugees. The government has embarked on a rocky reform plan but the process has already faced a backlash.

Last year, Prime Minister Hani Mulki was forced to resign after weeks of mass rallies against a planned tax bill. People took to the streets to express anger at a measure they said unduly burdened the working and middle class whilst not addressing evasion or graft among big business. Mr Mulki’s replacement, Omar Razzaz, has set about his own reform plans that are currently going through parliament.

Last week, the international community gathered in London for the Jordan: Growth and Opportunity conference and pledged some $2 billion for the country. The UK-led initiative is seeking to assist with the hosting of refugees but also looking to kick start the economy and bring down youth unemployment.

Japan pledged $720 million over the next five years, France 1 billion euros (Dh 4.1 billion) over the next three years. The UK agreed to underwrite a $250 million World Bank loan, give 25 million pounds (Dh 121 million) to equip 200,000 young Jordanians with English language and business skills and donate 3.35 million pounds to UNICEF for projects to get more children into education.

Published: March 4, 2019 11:37 AM


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