Qatar to Give Jordan $1.25 Bln to Back Economy Reform
Qatar has inked a deal with Jordan to give it a total of $1.25 billion as part of a Gulf Cooperation Council plan to back economic reforms, the state-run Petra news agency reported on Thursday.
Under the agreement signed on Wednesday, Qatar will provide Jordan with $250 million a year for the coming five years.
"The grant will help support Jordan's infrastructure and investment climate," Qatari Finance, Economy and Trade Minister Yussef Hussein Kamal told Petra.
"It will encourage the private sector, at the local, Arab and international levels, to launch projects in Jordan."
During a GCC summit last year, "Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar agreed to extend $5 billion over a five-year period to support development projects in Jordan," Petra said.
At the time, the GCC said it had "decided to create a Gulf development fund which begins by providing support to development projects in the Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Morocco worth $2.5 billion for each."
Amman is trying hard to offset a $3 billion deficit in this year's $9.6 billion budget.
The oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf, which have seen entrenched regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya fall, are seeking reliable allies in the region, singling out fellow monarchies.
Jordan has been largely spared the kind of protests that have swept eastwards from Tunisia across the Arab world since early 2011, but it still sees regular demonstrations demanding sweeping political and economic reform, and an end to corruption.