Tuesday, 07 December 2021 02:54 GMT

Jordan- Seven Trying YearsBy Jumana Ghunaimat

(MENAFN- Alghad Newspaper)

Looking back to the years since 2010, one would realise how trying these years have been for Jordan, its economy and people.

It was then that the aftershocks of the 2008 world financial crisis began to sweep through the region, Jordan included.

Shortly afterwards, oil prices soared to unprecedented record highs, which has not helped our economy at all, let alone Jordanians.

Right after, the Arab Sprig broke out, bringing about catastrophes that still cast a heavy shadow on Jordan's economy and political situation.

Since then, our borders have been shut, eastwards and north, and it doesn't seem that 2018 is going to be any better for us.

Naturally, the Gulf Grant has helped us cope over the years, though some of the donors have failed to fulfil their pledges. However, since the Gulf has decided to suspend the grant in 2016, these last two years have been even more difficult for us and intense!

These seven trying years since were hard.

Jordanians have had to endure so much, as they have had to burden the weight of a crumbling economy, bravely and patiently, I must add. The economy at a slowdown, barely showing any signs of growth, strained perhaps even more by the harsh agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Notably, the first agreement was signed by Tarawneh's government and implemented by Nsoor's, whose government then signed the new one and left its implementation to Mulqi's.

Looking back, one can only wonder how we pulled through.

If anything, this should give us hope that our crisis is not going to last, and that we can surely pull through, against all odds.

Belting up to face the coming inevitability of even harsher times in order to be able to advance real reforms is a necessity now.

We must pull through the coming years, and honestly, this depends above all on the Jordanians themselves, as no one else is going to carry our weight for us.

The fact is that Jordan is standing alone in the face of the economic crisis, and our relationship with the Fund is not as good as it once was.

Under the surface, there is an undeclared tension between the government and the Fund ever since the premier rejected a number of the IMF's recommendations. It seems the premier is adamant about advancing real solutions, and it seems the IMF does not approve. Typically, the Fund doesn't like being questioned.

Of course, the decline in Donor commitment to the Jordan Syria Crisis Response Plan does not make it easier, at all.

We are going to have to depend on ourselves. Especially since our brethren, Arab states have stopped helping as the Israelis continue to pressure us economically for diplomatic gains. Why else would the Israelis threaten to suspend the Two-Seas Channel, among other projects?

Perhaps this is grounds for Jordan to respond by threatening to break off the Israeli Gas Agreement; eye for an eye!

As for Jordan's regional situation, we need to understand that it is every man for himself out there, and the devil takes the hindmost.

There are countless variables in play, regionally.

Jordan must maintain a healthy distance from all radioactive situations around us. There is wisdom in this that some may not be able to appreciate now, but will soon enough!

In light of all this, whenever we are in doubt, we need to remind ourselves how we pulled through the darkest of times yet, and that with a little patience, we will make it through the next few years, no matter how hard it gets!

It is vital that we lay the foundations for autonomy and self-reliance, through optimising our use of resources and furthering the qualifications we need to do so.

Meanwhile, we need to found for new policies for the next phase, based on thorough understandings of our situation.

Relying on ourselves demands that we enforce different criteria and shape an all-new mentality for the years to come, from reinforcing the rule of law to advancing administrative reforms, as the government promised us.

That said, relying on ourselves requires far more than just increasing taxes and excisions.

There has to be a comprehensive, all-encompassing vision instead of relying only on the citizen to carry the costs of economic recovery.

Otherwise, we will not be able to make it through the more difficult years to come, let alone depend on ourselves!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.


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