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IMF approves $1.3bn loan programme for Jordan

March 27, 2020 at 9:20 am

The International Monetary Fund (Headquarters 2) located at 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C on 7 June 2010 [Wikimedia]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday announced that its board had approved a four-year $1.3 billion loan programme for Jordan to support the country’s economy and financial stability.

“The aim of the fund is to support stronger and more inclusive growth, create jobs, especially for women and young people, and reduce poverty,” an IMF statement said according to Reuters.

The IMF added that the loan was anchored by Jordan’s commitments to make “structural reforms designed to lower electricity costs for businesses and create incentives for them to hire more young people.”

The financial programme was designed before the novel coronavirus outbreak, but the IMF recently said that changes were made to support unbudgeted spending covering emergency outlays and medical supplies and equipment.

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“If the impact of the outbreak is deep enough to put at risk programme objectives, the programme will be adapted further to the changed circumstances, upon reaching understandings with the authorities,” the financial organisation pointed out.

An official source told Reuters that the about $139.2 million of the loan were “immediately available for disbursement, with the remaining amounts phased over the life of the programme, subject to eight reviews.”

On his part, the Jordanian finance minister, Mohammad Al-Ississ, said that the loan had come when Amman was working on preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

“The IMF approval signals confidence in Jordan’s economic reform process, and support for our efforts to mitigate the impact of the virus on vulnerable economic sectors and individuals,” Al-Ississ told Reuters.

He stressed that his government’s priority was “to protect the health of the Jordanian citizens and the country’s economy,” noting that Amman was coordinating relevant procedures with the international community.