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Protesters gather for a demonstration outside the prime minister’s office, Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018 (AP photo by Raad al-Adayleh).

Is Jordan on the Verge of an Economic Reckoning?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

At an investment conference in London on the last day of February, Jordan got what appeared to be a much-needed financial boost, with promises of assistance and loans totaling $2 billion. But for a nation whose economic challenges are likely to only intensify, with debt amounting to around 95 percent of its gross domestic product, the pledges were really just a drop in the bucket.

Jordan has built a decades-old reputation as a kingdom of calm in an otherwise restive region. But its long reliance on that image of stability, underwritten by external support, may also be its undoing. Its underdeveloped economy is flailing, leaving an increasingly young population in the lurch, on top of the influx of refugees from neighboring Syria. King Abdullah took this message to London, though he conveyed it to the conference attendees in more subtle terms, declaring that “the world understands the importance of a strong and prosperous Jordan.” ...

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