However, Jordan’s neighbors and allies have so far rallied round the troubled country, with a string of financial pledges now helping stabilize its creaking economy.
In recent days, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have put forward a combined $2.5 billion assistance package, while Qatar has now promised $500 million of investment and 10,000 jobs for Jordanian expats.
These new offers also come amidst meetings between Jordanian officials and Western representatives, with the UK set to host an international donors’ conference in London later this year.
This wave of support demonstrates the continued strategic significance of the country. Indeed, financial aid for Jordan from the Gulf has a long and somewhat chequered history.
When the “Arab Spring” rocked the region, back in 2011, the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar — promised some $5 billion to Jordan, along with future GCC membership.
“Keeping Jordan stable has always been viewed as part of keeping the Gulf stable,” says Amman-based political commentator and columnist Osama Al Sharif. “The Gulf monarchies were very worried about what happened back in 2011, and were totally against the protests and calls for change.”