King Abdullah of Jordan takes to twitter to thank Saudi King Salman

Jordanian people and associations chant slogans during a strike against the new income tax law in Amman Jordan

Gulf States Agree to Provide $2.5 Billion in Aid to Jordan Amid Economic Crisis REUTERS Muhammad Hamed

Saudi Arabia and two Persian Gulf nations pledged $2.5 billion to help support Jordan's economy after a proposed income-tax increase sparked days of widespread protests.

The economic package includes a deposit into Jordan's central bank, World Bank guarantees, annual support for Jordan's budget over five years and financing of development projects.

The decision was taken in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia where King Salman hosted a summit with Jordanian King Abdullah, Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed.

Ministers Hani al Mulki and chants slogans during a strike against the new income tax law in Amman Jordan
REUTERS Muhammad Hamed Young Professionals in Jordan Spearhead Anti-IMF Austerity Protest

Protests engulfed the cash-strapped country earlier this month after the government announced a fuel prices rise of up to 5.5 percent and a 19 percent hike in electricity prices.

The rare peaceful protests prompted King Abdullah to sack the government and appoint a new prime minister whose first pledge was to reverse plans was to shelve steep tax hikes. His designated successor, Omar Al Razzaz, has withdrawn the proposal for review.

Jordan's economic malaise has been exacerbated by regional crises, particularly in Iraq and Syria, which have hurt trade.

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In the past, foreign aid has sometimes financed nearly half the country's budget deficit.

The hope is the five-year aid package, which mirrors a similar aid package offered by Gulf states in 2011, will help Jordan come up with a new, more-palatable austerity plan to satisfy global lenders and its public.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) provided Jordan with $2.5 billion in 2011 to help contain pro-democracy protests that were spreading across the region. It expired previous year and so far the six-member GCC has yet to offer any additional funding as the bloc remains split by a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

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The move came a day after European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced $23.5 million (20 million euros) in aid for Jordan following a wave of anti-austerity protests that led to the prime minister's resignation.

The U.S. this year committed to give Jordan more than $6 billion in aid over the next five years, up from $1 billion annually.

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