Jordan receives $1 billion from Gulf aid package

Amman: Jordan on Thursday received over $1 billion in financial aid from three key Gulf backers as part of a broader package to help ease an economic crisis, a government source said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait in June offered a $2.5-billion (2.2 billion euro) lifeline to Amman after a wave of protests.

Finance ministers from the three countries officially signed off on the commitments at a meeting in Amman Thursday, state news agency Petra reported.

“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have both deposited $333.3 million with the central bank, while Kuwait has transferred $500 million,” the Jordanian government source said.

Cash-strapped Jordan, a close US ally that relies heavily on donors, has struggled to curb its debt since securing a $723-million loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

Austerity measures tied to the IMF loan saw prices of basic necessities rise across the kingdom — culminating in angry demonstrations over tax proposals that forced the prime minister to resign.

In response to the unrest the trio of Gulf states stepped in to help out Amman with a plan including deposits with the central bank and five years of budget support.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have pledged $250 million each for the Jordanian budget, while Kuwait has pledged $500 million in credit from early 2019 to finance projects, the government source said.

Petra reported that the UAE will also provide guarantees worth $200 million for the World Bank.

[source_without_link]Agence France-Presse[/source_without_link]