Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait stepped in in June 2018 with a pledge for $2.5bn of aid to help alleviate austerity measures that have trigged mass protests and caused political resignations. They stepped in after a wave of protests over rising living costs and government spending cuts prompted King Abdullah to sack Prime Minister Hani Mulki. Qatar followed suit with a separate move — as the island state is currently in a dispute with its Gulf neighbours — with an investment pledge to create 10,000 jobs. The demonstrations erupted over spending cuts ordered as part of a 2016 $723m Extended Fund Facility from the International Monetary Fund that included a tax hike to help stabilise the public sector deficit. The bill to push many of those through has been withdrawn but measures will be needed to qualify for IMF support. The new prime minister Omar Razzaz has said a “new social contract” will be a top item on his government’s agenda. The IMF has since said it supports King Abdullah’s commitment to holding a national dialogue and that the fund itself was keen to work with Jordan to support the economy. Its spokesman revealed that following an IMF visit to Jordan in May, it was close to recommending the completion of the second review of the EFF that would make a further $70m available on top of the $1.2bn already disbursed since 2012. He added that IMF was concerned by the “social dimensions” of the reforms.