AMMAN, July 1 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it provided Jordan with $ 206 million in a four-year $ 1.3 billion loan program and approved Jordan’s request to expand the program by $ 200 million to help it continue its struggle with COVID. -19 pandemic.
The IMF said it has completed a second review of Jordan’s expanded financing facility and thanked the country for meeting its budgetary targets despite the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Completion of the review allows Jordan to immediately access $ 206 million, bringing total disbursements from the beginning of 2020 to about $ 900 million, the IMF said in a statement.
The IMF said the expansion of the fund will allow Jordan to continue budget spending to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. But it says that increased donor support is needed to help Jordan cope with the pandemic, despite hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees.
It says the Middle Eastern country has performed “well” in reforms, including work to close tax loopholes, but that work needs to continue to improve transparency in public finances.
Jordan’s Treasury Department, which announced the completion of the review for the first time, said the IMF has called on major Western and Arab donors to Jordan to support the kingdom “in view of its strong commitment to stability and reform” and hosting refugees.
Economic activity is down 3% in 2020 due to blockages, border closures and a sharp drop in tourism during the pandemic, but the government and the IMF are forecasting a return to growth this year.
The gradual reopening of most of Jordan’s major manufacturing and manufacturing facilities in the past few months has helped its economy consolidate and gradually recover, economists said.
The IMF’s approval of Jordan’s second review demonstrates confidence in the pace of reforms and financial stability in the country, the ministry said in a statement.
Jordan’s Finance Minister Mohammad Al Ississ said earlier this year that his country’s commitment to IMF reforms helped it maintain strong donor support and maintain stable sovereign ratings at a time when other developing countries were downgraded.
Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Edited by Steve Orlofsky and Lisa Schumaker
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