The United States gave Jordan a grant of $37.7 million Thursday, April 19, in the first batch of the $150-million, Washington has pledged to Amman for 2001, Jordanian officials said.
The gift will go toward fighting poverty and unemployment in Jordan, which according to independent estimates affect 25 percent of the population, and will finance projects supporting the kingdom's economic reforms.
"American aide to Jordan is one of the principal pillars for the country's economic development," Jordan's Trade and Industry Minister Wasif Azar said after a signing ceremony with US Ambassador William Burns.
The United States also gives Jordan military aide, which over the past three years has ranged from between $50 and $75 million annually.
The two countries signed a free trade agreement last October aimed at boosting US investment in Jordan. The agreement still needs to be approved by Congress. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)