IMF approves release of $ second tranche of funding to Jordan

‘Authorities have managed difficult environment’

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund announced Thursday the release of a portion of its $2.1 billion loan to Jordan to help it weather regional instability, including an influx of Syrian refugees.
The IMF executive board, after its first review of Jordan's economic performance under the three-year loan approved last August, made $385 million immediately available to the country, the second tranche of funding under the program.
"The authorities have managed a difficult environment by taking appropriate policy actions under their Fund-supported economic program," Nemat Shafik, IMF deputy managing director, said in a statement.
"Their efforts have mitigated the adverse impact of regional political instability, higher energy import prices, and a large influx of refugees from Syria."
The loan is to be released to Jordan in stages subject to quarterly reviews of government economic policies and the economy's performance.
The IMF praised the decision by Jordanian authorities to remove fuel subsidies last year and replace them with cash transfers to compensate lower and middle income groups.
That was "an important step toward a stronger fiscal position and improved social equity," Shafik said.
In the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions, the IMF has reinforced relationships with several countries in the region.
Loan discussions are under way in Egypt and Tunisia, and Morocco obtained a $6.2 billion "precautionary" line of credit last August.