AMMAN: The administration of US President Barack Obama and members of the US Congress have assured Jordan of continued financial support to help the kingdom overcome its economic crisis, according to Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan.
Jordan is under a severe economic crisis worsened by the disruption in the supply of Egyptian gas, forcing the kingdom to turn to expensive diesel to meet its power generation need. The government faces a deficit of more than $2 billion its budget for the year 2012.
Jafarn, who paid a visit to the US last week and held talks with several US government officials and Congress members, was quoted as saying by the state Petra news agency that his talks in Washington focused on means to boost US support to help Jordan overcome financial challenges facing it through carrying out a package of reform measures.
Petra quoted a statement from the planning ministry as saying that Hassan outlined the difficult economic conditions facing Jordan and the measures to achieve economic reform in addition to the challenges related to the influx of Syrian refugees to the kingdom.
The US officials voiced their full commitment to support Jordan, expressing their desire to study all methods to provide appropriate and swift support to Jordan to enable it render its reform programmes a success, the statement said.
During his visit, the minister also met officials from the World Bank and discussed issues related to the bank’s partnership programmes with Jordan, the second loan to support the country’s budget, programmes to finance solar energy projects in addition to new ones to support the small-and medium-sized projects sector and national employment projects, the statement said.
The US has offered about $500 million to Jordan during the current fiscal year to help it address the kingdom’s budget deficit and implement development projects. Jordan depends on foreign aid to help address the deficit.
Finance Minister Suleiman Hafez said last week that for the first time, the 2013 draft budget will not allocate any spending if grants are not assured. The move will increase the degree of self-reliance.