Doha (AFP) – Qatar pledged Wednesday to create 10,000 jobs for Jordanians on the territory of the energy-rich Gulf state, as well as invest $500 million in the kingdom hit by anti-austerity protests.
The announcement came two days after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made a $2.5-billion pledge to Jordan in conjunction with Kuwait.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Amman on Wednesday, where he met Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
“Ten thousand jobs will be provided in Qatar to the Jordanian youth to help them achieve their aspirations and contribute to supporting the economy of their homeland,” his ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also announced $500 million would be earmarked to support infrastructure and tourism projects in Jordan.
The kingdom’s cash-strapped economy has been hit by regional turmoil and IMF-driven austerity measures triggered a wave of protests over price hikes and subsidy cuts this month that brought down the government.
Jordan’s economy has struggled to grow in the last few years under chronic deficits as private foreign capital and aid flows have slipped.
Mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike have rocked Jordan in recent days as the government pushes austerity measures to slash the country’s debt in the face of an economic crisis.
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 international support.
The World Bank says Jordan has “weak growth prospects” this year, while 18.5 percent of the working age population is unemployed.