Gulf states pledge $2.5bn aid to Jordan

Saudi Arabia to host Gulf conference on supporting Jordan

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have offered a $2.5-billion bailout package to Jordan which has been rocked by protests amid an economic crisis.

Price hikes and subsidy cuts pushed thousands of Jordanians to the streets last week against the government's economic policies.

She also told a press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi that the European Union has given the crisis-hit country $1.18 billion over three years, and will provide $23.5 million more for social protection programs.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the gathering in Mecca, participants said that assistance, which will come through four means, is driven by "the fraternal ties between the four states, Islamic and Arab principles and values", detailing a package that includes a deposit at the Central Bank of Jordan, guarantees to be presented to the World Bank in favour of Jordan, budget support for five years and funding of development projects by development funds in the three countries.

Responding to mass anti-austerity protests held in Jordan, a number of Gulf States have offered the kingdom $2.5 billion to help it overcome an economic crisis.

Jordan has been hit by mass protests in recent days over price hikes and a tax proposal created to bring down the country's debt level after securing a $723 million loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

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The spikes are required by the International Monetary Fund, from which the country secured a $723-million loan in 2016.

Austerity measures tied to the loan have seen prices of basic necessities rise across the kingdom - culminating in a week of angry protests over tax proposals that forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign.

An unpopular income tax law was also incensing the public until the government withdrew it in the face of the protests.

Jordan blames its economic woes on instability rocking the region and the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria, complaining it has not received enough worldwide support.

The country is reliant on donors and faces an uphill struggle to fix what the World Bank says are its "weak growth prospects" this year, while 18.5 percent of the working age population is unemployed.

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