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US to up aid to Jordan as it deals with regional turmoil

By Agencies - Feb 04,2015 - Last updated at Feb 04,2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is hoping to nearly double US assistance to Jordan over the next two years as the country struggles to cope with domestic issues and pressure from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Tuesday signed an agreement that will see American aid to Jordan rise from $660 million to $1 billion per year between 2015 to 2017. The money is subject to congressional approval. 

It is intended to help Jordan deal with a massive influx of refugees from Syria, support its security and energy needs as well as promote social, political and economic reform.

"The United States recognises Jordan's increased immediate needs resulting from regional unrest, the efforts Jordan is undertaking at the forefront of the fight against ISIL and other extremist ideology and terrorism, the influx of refugees from Syria and Iraq, the disruption of foreign energy supplies, and other unprecedented strains," the State Department said.

"The increase for the period of FY 2015 to FY 2017 is designed to address Jordan's short-term, extraordinary needs, including those related to regional instability and rising energy costs," the State Department added.

Jordan has been a key US ally in the coalition to combat the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

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