The World Bank today announced $500 million in financial support to Jordan’s ongoing reforms to improve the economy.
According to a World Bank statement, the aim is to promote economic growth, create more jobs, and expand the National Aid Fund cash transfer programme to cover an additional 85,000 households.
“The First Equitable Growth and Job Creation Development Policy Loan (DPL) will also expand social safety nets to protect the poorest against economic shocks, boost job creation, and improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” it added.
According to the World Bank, the $500 million DPL consists of a grant of $111 million from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) and a non-concessional portion of $389 million.
“The World Bank reiterates its unwavering commitment to support Jordan at this critical juncture,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq regional director, according to the statement.
Jha said the new Jordanian government has an opportunity to build consensus for reforms based on a broad consultative approach, adding: “We look forward to supporting Jordan’s efforts to unlock the potential of its human capital, increase its competitiveness, kickstart growth and boost job creation.”
Jordan has been rocked by protests in recent weeks after the government approved an amended version of a tax bill that would, if passed, subject all annual incomes of 8,000 Jordanian dinars (roughly $11,200) or more to additional taxes.
The government recently raised electricity prices – for the fifth time this year – leading to further popular discontent. It also raised subsidised fuel prices by 5.5 per cent before reversing the move at the monarch’s request.