WASHINGTON Dec 26 The International Monetary
Fund said it will talk with Jordanian officials early next year
about a complete economic program, including how to deal with
the huge influx of Syrian refugees into the country.
The Middle East kingdom received a $2 billion IMF stand-by
loan earlier this year to help deal with the effects of high oil
prices and political unrest in neighboring countries.
An influx of 240,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict next
door has further strained the resources of Jordan, a country of
7 million that has almost no oil and little water.
"The program (next year) will include specific policy
measures that would help Jordan to reach its program objectives
and address the key challenges it faces, including the large
inflow of Syrian refugees," Kristina Kostial, the IMF mission
chief for Jordan, said in a statement after visiting Jordan.
The IMF approved the loan in July under the condition that
Jordan reform its public sector and reduce subsidies, including
Jordan's decision in November to cut subsidies on most fuel
products sparked violent protests and calls for the end of the
monarchy. But Jordan has so far been spared the revolts toppling
long-seated rulers elsewhere in the Arab world.