By Omar Obeidat
AMMAN –– Jordan received a JD283 million ($400 million) grant from Saudi Arabia, Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour announced Thursday.
The grant, which falls under the projected grants in 2011 state budget, will contribute to implementing several capital projects included in the budget and will also help overcome some fiscal challenges, the minister said, indicating that the projected Arab and foreign aid to the Kingdom is JD440 million.
Expressing appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s continuous support to Jordan, Abu Hammour said the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah were a major element in making Arab and foreign countries understand the financial conditions in Jordan.
Asked whether the Saudi grant will help reduce the deficit in this year’s budget, the official told The Jordan Times the government has not yet received all the projected aid forecast in the budget.
“We have received the largest part of the projected aid and we hope to receive more grants from Arab and foreign countries who are aware of the financial difficulties facing the Kingdom,” Abu Hammour said.
The deficit in the JD6.36 billion budget is estimated at JD1.16 billion, or 5.5 per cent of the gross domestic product.
Last year, the volume of foreign grants extended to Jordan reached JD430 million.