The proposal comes after the IMF team held virtual discussions with the Jordanian authorities and reached a staff-level agreement on the first review of the authorities’ economic reform programme supported by the EFF programme. The agreement is subject to approval to the IMF’s Executive Board. “The frontloading of IMF support will also provide a signal to other development partners to strengthen their assistance to Jordan at this challenging time,” Abbas said, adding that fiscal targets for 2020 under the EFF programme have also been “significantly” relaxed to support Jordan’s efforts to save lives and livelihoods “With the COVID second wave still unfolding, we have also agreed with the government to extend into 2021 the flexibility built into the programme to accommodate higher-than-expected COVID-related spending,” Abbas told The Jordan Times in an interview. He said it was important to limit the crisis-induced rise in Jordan’s public debt through a gradual medium-term fiscal consolidation, starting in 2021. “There is agreement that this consolidation should protect the poor and be growth-friendly,” he added. Jordan’s overall public debt, excluding government debt holdings by the Social Security Investment Fund, reached JD26.780 billion at the end of July, representing 86.4 per cent of GDP compared with JD23.958 billion at...read more...