Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday, April 30, urged the government to help fight unemployment, which according to independent estimates affects 25 percent of the five-million-strong population.
"Finding jobs for Jordanians is our priority and it should be achieved through practical steps," the king told Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and economic experts from his government, an official source said.
The monarch asked the government "to create a mechanism pinpointing employment needs" in the country and said workers should undergo "training sessions" to help them improve their skills.
He also insisted that "all obstacles" facing foreign investment should be eradicated in order to help invigorate Jordan's ailing economy.
The nation's unemployment level is estimated at 25 percent while half of Jordanians earn less than $1,200 a year and nearly 30 percent only earn $800.
On April 19 the United States gave Jordan $37.7 million to help fight poverty and unemployment in the kingdom as part of an overall $150-million economic aid package for 2001. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)