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Jordan prime minister announces major government reshuffle to tackle Covid crisis

Jordan has announced a major government reshuffle [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 March, 2021

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Jordan has suffered economic hardships following the coronavirus crisis.
Jordan's Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh announced a major cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, in a move aimed at easing through a cash injection from the IMF.

Al-Khasawneh named six new ministers, including a new head of the powerful interior ministry, after firing two members of government for breaching Covid-19 restrictions last week.

Al-Khasawneh named Brigadier General Mazen Faraiah as interior minister, after heading the kingdom's Covid-19 crisis centre.

His appointment will give the prime minister better coordination on tackling the Covid-19 crisis and the economic effects related to it after a surge in cases, Reuters reported.

New ministers of agriculture, education and justice were also named in the shake-up.

The new appointments were aimed at tackling key social and economic problems, government officials told Reuters.

Jordan is facing a major economic crisis due to the coronavirus epidemic with a nationwide lockdown early on in the pandemic leading to huge financial hardship for many Jordanians.

Khasawneh, a former diplomat and palace official, was appointed as prime minister in October, in a bid to placate popular anger over corruption and economic difficulties.

The lockdowns saw a three percent contraction of Jordan's economy last year with the government seeking to enact a policy of "fiscal prudence" to rein in a $45 billion public debt.

The reshuffle is said to be a step toward enacting IMF reforms it is hoped will bring economic stability to the country.

The kingdom is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases but has opted not to implement a new lockdown on the scale as the one last year.

Jordan's private sector was effecitvely closed in April, in a move that kept Covid-19 numbers low but caused huge economic damage.


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