Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Jordanian Prime Minister Ayman Safadi on 16 September 2022 (Photo credit: US embassy in Jordan)
The Jordanian deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Jordanian-US strategic relations on 16 September.
The two ministers signed their 4th MoU between the two countries in which the US obligated itself to provide aid worth $1.45 billion annually to Jordan until 2029.
Jordan and the United States signed their first MoU in 2008, followed by another in 2015 and then in 2018.
The aid will be a significant increase from the $660 million provided to Jordan in the past decade and is expected to increase by the year 2023.
“The MoU is also an investment in Jordan’s exceptional leadership on regional and global challenges,” said Blinken in his joint press conference with Safadi.
Blinken added that Jordan continues to play an instrumental role in “promoting regional security and stability” and that the new MoU will modernize Jordan’s military significantly to keep up with today’s challenges.
Earlier in July, President Joe Biden announced the new agreements following his meeting with the King of Jordan Abdullah II at the summit in Jeddah.
According to reports, the MoU includes Jordan’s commitment to reform its economy.
“These reforms are essential for Jordan. They are our reforms. We would have done them with or without the MoU because we have no alternative,” Safadi announced.
The World Bank reports that the high youth unemployment, the rise of public debt, and lack of investments have posed significant challenges to Jordan’s economy to recover from setbacks during the global Covid pandemic.
In light of the above, the new MoU constitutes of major importance to Jordan and is a sign of US commitment to keep Jordan afloat, despite its fragile economy that lacks natural resources, water, and sufficient annual growth.
“The United States is committed to helping Jordan strengthen the resilience of its economy. Our partnership will also foster cooperation and investment in infrastructure, energy, water, food security, and climate,” reads a joint statement.
As of September, Jordan received $1,029,299,880 in aid in 2021 and at least $498,937,233 this year, according to data from the US foreign assistance office.
In 2022, the majority of the aid was delivered to Jordan through the US agency for international development, the World Food Program, and other humanitarian agencies.
The aid was delivered in the form of direct economic support to the government, emergency food assistance, USAID educational programs, and investments in a variety of other projects.