Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE approve $2.5bn aid package for Jordan at emergency Gulf summit

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Saudi King Salman (left) meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II (center), UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (right) and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (back toward the camera) at the Safa Palace in Makkah early Monday. (SPA)
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Clockwise from left: Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman, Jordan's King Abdullah II and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (back toward the camera). (SPA)
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Left to right: UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman and Jordan's King Abdullah II during a meeting at the Safa Palace in Makkah early Monday. (SPA)
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Jordan's King Abdullah II, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah listen as King Salman speaks at the close of the Makkah Summit early Monday. (SPA)
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Aftermath of the summit. (SPA)
Updated 11 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE approve $2.5bn aid package for Jordan at emergency Gulf summit

  • The package will include a deposit in the Jordanian central bank, World Bank guarantees, budgetary support over five years and financing for development projects.
  • King Salman called the meeting to muster support for ally Jordan, which had been rocked by mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike in recent days.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed on Monday to provide an economic aid package worth $2.5 billion for Jordan, which is facing an economic crisis following anti-austerity protests.

The package, announced at a summit of the four nations in the holy city of Makkah, will include a deposit in the Jordanian central bank, World Bank guarantees, budgetary support over five years and financing for development projects, said a summit communique carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The summit, called by Saudi King Salman, was attended by Jordan’s King Abdullah II along with UAE's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

King Salman called the meeting to garner support for ally Jordan, which had been rocked by mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike in recent days.

The statement noted that funding for Jordan's economic crisis comes from contributory funds for development projects in the Kingdom.

Following the meeting, King Abdullah II offered his gratitude to King Salman, Kuwait and the UAE for their support. Jordan is struggling to curb its debt after securing a $723 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016.

Austerity measures tied to the loan have seen prices of basic necessities rise across the Kingdom of Jordan — culminating in a week of angry protests over tax proposals that forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign.

The authorities on Thursday announced they were withdrawing the unpopular legislation, but still face a mammoth task to balance popular demands with the need to reduce the public debt burden.

Jordan blames its economic woes on instability rocking the region and the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria, complaining it has not received enough international support.

The World Bank says Jordan has “weak growth prospects” this year, while 18.5 percent of the working age population is unemployed.
Saudi Arabia and the United States are two of the major donors providing vital economic assistance to Jordan.

(With AFP and Reuters)


Saudi women incubate creative ideas for community development

Updated 18 August 2018
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Saudi women incubate creative ideas for community development

JEDDAH: The Halcyon Incubator fellowship on Friday concluded a program in Washington, DC for a group of Saudi female pioneers in social development.
Fourteen Saudi innovators working in community development on Thursday gave presentations on seven ambitious projects that highlight applications that they are seeking to implement.
The seven Saudi projects highlighted a number of unique applications, such as the online on-click link between dentists, lab technicians and labs, whose design has shown that it will make a major social change in its country and will save waiting for medical appointments and reports.
Another online project helps children with autism to improve communication skills through games and educational activities.
Another focuses on linking history and modern technology in many languages to improve tourism and make it easier for pilgrims to visit the country.
It also presented practical projects such as “Green Desert,” which seeks to contribute to solving the problem of lack of waste recycling culture in Saudi Arabia.
During his visit to the Halcyon Incubator, the director of innovation and entrepreneurship at Taibah University, Dr. Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, praised its development of social projects. He also congratulated the group of Saudi women for their innovative excellence.
The Saudi Innovations Group has spent two weeks working in the hospitality of the Halcyon Incubator, which has been named the “Kingfisher” as a symbol.
The organization seeks to promote creativity in all its forms throughout the world by stimulating and supporting creators who seek to promote the good in their communities.
The annual program of the Halcyon Incubator sponsors various groups of change-makers in the fields of arts and social projects and provides them with an environment that incubates their bold ideas and helps them to learn, gain experience and knowledge and provide them with free trial opportunities to enhance their talents and visions and transform them into influential energies in society.