• Agreement would release direct donor aid, backed-bonds
  • Details of credit facility to be finalized in coming weeks

The International Monetary Fund and Jordan reached a staff-level agreement on a 36-month credit facility to help unlock donor grants and loans to support an economy struggling with an influx of Syrian refugees.

The proposed Extended Fund Facility will be finalized in the coming weeks, the Washington-based lender said in a statement Monday. It’s subject to the approval of the IMF executive board, most likely in July.

Jordan expected the agreement to provide as much as $800 million, the country’s Finance Minister Omar Malhas said in an April interview. The agreement would help release about $1.9 billion from donors and $1 billion in U.S.-backed bonds, he said.

Jordan’s economy is forecast to grow around 2.7 percent in 2016, held back by crises in neighboring Iraq and Syria, which have led to border closings and the arrival of some 650,000 refugees.

The EFF supports Jordan’s Vision 2025, the country’s first 10-year economic framework, which "aims at enhancing the conditions for more inclusive economic growth, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the regional conflicts on exports, investment, and the labor market," Martin Cerisola, the IMF’s mission chief to Jordan, said in the statement.

Jordan plans to keep "international reserves at adequate levels" and reduce public debt from about 94 percent of economic output to about 77 percent by 2021, Cerisola said.

Jordan completed a three-year $2 billion standby arrangement with the IMF in August 2015.

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