Jordan prime minister announces major government reshuffle to tackle Covid crisis

Jordan prime minister announces major government reshuffle to tackle Covid crisis
Jordan has suffered economic hardships following the coronavirus crisis.
2 min read
08 March, 2021
Jordan has announced a major government reshuffle [Getty]
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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