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IMF approves $396 million for Jordan to fight coronavirus

21 May 2020, MVT 22:26
(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 17, 2020, a labourer sprays disinfectant in Jordan's archaeological city of Petra south of the capital Amman on March 17, 2020, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. - The International Monetary Fund on May 21, 2020, approved $396 million for Jordan to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a disbursement equal to about a quarter of its projected need amid the global economic downturn. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)
21 May 2020, MVT 22:26

The IMF on Thursday approved $396 million for Jordan to fight the coronavirus outbreak, a disbursement equal to about a quarter of its projected need amid the global economic downturn sparked by the pandemic.

The funds are the latest from the lender's Rapid Financing Instrument, which allows nations to circumvent the lengthy negotiations usually required to secure a full economic assistance program -- time most countries do not have as they struggle to cope with the crisis.

The IMF said the country had "taken proactive efforts since the COVID-19 outbreak to protect safety of its citizens and refugees," noting the implementation of a curfew and the prioritization of healthcare spending.

However the disruptions to tourism, remittances exports and capital inflows have created "an urgent balance of payments need," IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in a statement.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the Jordanian people's lives and on the economy," he said, adding that the money would "support international reserves and help meet the budget financing needs for crisis mitigation."

Jordan received a $1.3 billion assistance package from the IMF in March, of which the country immediately received $139.2 million, but the Washington-based crisis lender notes the country's situation "has worsened considerably" since then.

Washington, United States | AFP

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