PM urges continued caution as Jordan nears COVID-19 recovery stage

The next stage should be focused on dealing with the economic ramifications

  

AMMAN - Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz on Tuesday highlighted the need for caution when dealing with the “virulent” coronavirus pandemic, especially as the Kingdom continues to receive Jordanian students and citizens stranded in coronavirus hotspots abroad.

Razzaz, during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry, stressed that the Kingdom has managed to counter the health repercussions of the coronavirus, highlighting that the next stage should be focused on dealing with the economic ramifications.

Briefing the public on the stages of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 response, Razzaz said that the first stage involved an immediate response, followed by the current stage of adaptation, while the third stage focuses on recovery and economic strength.

The government’s immediate response to the virus outbreak included implementing the Defence Law, imposing the full curfew early on and providing necessities for citizens, Razzaz noted.

He also said that after the onset of the crisis, the Kingdom moved to the second stage, which included distance learning, remote work and the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions and resuming the work of various sectors.

The adaptation stage has also involved a financial and economic response to the crisis, he said, stressing that this response has focused on cutting the expenditures of private sector institutions.

The premier also noted that 155,000 new families began to receive benefits from the social security protection umbrella, while this number is expected to reach 200,000 before Eid Al Fitr.

Around 11,000 institutions recently registered with the Social Security Corporation to benefit from its programmes, he said.

Lauding Jordanians’ efforts, Razzaz announced that funds received by the Himmat Watan Fund’s account total JD81 million.

As the Kingdom moves towards the recovery stage of its coronavirus crisis response, the government, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Jordan, banks and the private sector, is seeking to establish an investment fund to help the companies that need capital flowto continue, he said.

To ensure economic resilience, Razzaz drew attention to the importance of moving towards greater self-reliance, stressing that this requires controlling government spending and eradicating administrative flabbiness by merging institutions, a step that has become “more urgent” than ever.

Highlighting that unemployment rates are high and expecting it to increase, Razzaz announced that the government is working on a programme for employing young people.

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