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Gov’t announces JD320m package to mitigate COVID’s economic impact

100,000 families to be included in NAF support programme; JD20 million allocated for tourism sector

By JT - Dec 03,2020 - Last updated at Dec 03,2020

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh speaks during a press briefing at the Prime Ministry on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh on Thursday announced new government procedures aimed at mitigating the economic repercussions on living conditions and affected sectors at a total value of JD320 million.

The package also covers part of the salaries of private sector employees and expands social protection for families and individuals.

During a press briefing at the Prime Ministry, Khasawneh said these procedures, following Royal directives, aim at increasing the number of beneficiaries of the National Aid Fund’s (NAF) Takaful 3 programme by 100,000 families to include daily wage workers who are not subscribed with the social security, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The premier said that these procedures also facilitate direct support to sustain some economic sectors. The measures aim to preserve 180,000 jobs in some 20,000 private sector institutions, in addition to providing around JD20 million to support the tourism sector.

“This is a message of pride in the private sector, which is the main partner of the government that feels the suffering of the economic sectors and is aware of the magnitude of the challenges facing the government in realising a balance between health considerations and sustaining economic activities,” he noted.

The premier said that if the epidemiological situation goes towards stability, the government will opt for gradual and safe reopening of some sectors and lifting some constraints, adding that the current procedures will continue until the end of the year.

Also speaking at the briefing, Social Development Minister Ayman Mifleh said that NAF will implement two programmes. The first is a complementary support programme related to supporting underprivileged families and increasing the number of beneficiaries from 150,000 to 185,000 families.

Mifleh said that the second programme is Takaful 3 targetting daily wage workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, covering some 100,000 households with a total value of JD100 million that will be allocated from foreign aid.

The minister noted that NAF will launch an electronic platform on www.naf.gov.jo to receive new applications and activate old ones, noting that the platform will continue receiving applications until December 31.

Minister of Labour and Minister of State for Investment Affairs Maen Qatamin said that the social protection programme for individuals and families to mitigate the impact the pandemic will continue for six months until the end of May, 2021.

Qatamin, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Social Security Corporation (SSC), said that the total cost of the programme is JD200 million, of which JD134 will be incurred by the government and JD66 million from the surplus of the SSC’s account dedicated for labour injuries.

The minister said that the programme will benefit 170,000 Jordanian workers in the most affected sectors and institutions that are unauthorised to open, providing that these workers are included in the regulations of the Social Security Law and the institution has been registered with SSC since at least September.

Also speaking at the conference, Tourism Minister Nayef Fayez said that the ministry launched the tourism risks fund with a total value of JD20 million to support the sector and reduce the damage it incurred during the pandemic.

Fayez noted that the aim of the fund is to address the current impact caused by the pandemic and any other future risks that the sector might face, in addition to offering financial aid and loans for workers in the sector.

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