Jordan Country Report
Countrywide protests, mostly peaceful, are likely to recur in 2019 over corruption, cyber-crime legislation, and ongoing austerity measures in line with IMF-loan conditions. External funding will continue to provide sufficient financial aid to prevent protests from threatening the monarchy, but will likely be used by Saudi Arabia to leverage support for the US’ Israel-Palestinian peace plan. Economic growth will remain weak in 2019 because of fiscal retrenchment, reduced investment due to neighbouring conflicts and the refugee crisis. The conflicts in Iraq and Syria have increased the operational capabilities of returning Jordanian jihadists, with likely intent to attack tourist sites and security forces, but this is mitigated by competent intelligence services. Peaceful strikeswill periodically affect ports, phosphates, transport, and manufacturing.
Jordan is working on an economic growth stimulus package with the World Bank for 2018–22. The package includes labour, transport, energy, and water sector reforms, and will request existing major donors to provide soft loans to future budgets. Pressure from the IMF encourages the state's incentive to attract foreign investment, particularly in qualified industrial zones and the Aqaba special economic zone and increasing online state services. Corruption has increased with more businessmen represented in parliament after constitutional reforms in 2016. The government expanded the powers of the Audit Bureau to address complaints of widespread corruption.
Jordan remains a high-value aspirational target for the Islamic State and other Sunni jihadists. Returning jihadists and radicalisation among low-level members of the security forces pose the biggest threats. Experience in Iraq and Syria improves militants' combat experience and operational knowledge. This increases the risk of successful attacks on security forces, tourist sites, shopping malls, and diplomatic targets in Amman. The small number of incidents during the past five years underscores the high capabilities of the security services. A bomb in Balqa governorate in August 2018 demonstrated militant intent but low capabilities to target security forces and the Christian minority.
The risk of war between Jordan and Israel is very low. Jordan is extremely unlikely to revoke the 1994 peace treaty with Israel, and despite implicitly rejecting it, King Abdullah II is likely to ultimately approve US President Trump’s anticpated peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. Syria or Iraq is unlikely to wage a war against Jordan as neither countries have the intent and capability. Jordan's effective border forces make it extremely unlikely that Islamic State militants fleeing Iraq and Syria will begin contesting Jordanian territory. Radicalisation and returning jihadists are more likely to conduct limited acts of terrorism.
Activists will probably repeatedly protest peacefully against austerity measures, the cybercrime law, and the state's ties with Israel in 2019. The main rally point will probably remain Amman’s Fourth Circle roundabout. The monarchy is likely to steer policies to avoid protests gaining political momentum and challenging foreign policies. Increased food and fuel costs, high-profile corruption cases, and localised labour issues will probably trigger localised protests that are unlikely to become destabilising, especially while opposition factions remain fragmented. As part of wider unrest, there is an elevated risk of labour protests disrupting routes to Aqaba port, resulting in several days' closure.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and over one year of age and for travelers who have been in transit in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
It should be noted that Jordan is located in an active seismic zone. Minor earthquakes occur with moderate frequency. The last major earthquake to strike occurred in 1927.
Jordan also faces flooding on a regular basis, especially in northern areas. Dust storms can also occur, leading to decreased visibility and transportation disruptions.
Temperatures in summer months can be very high. Drink plenty of water and use high-sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen.
In winter, heavy snow can disrupt transportation, especially around Petra.
Though travel conditions remain good in urban areas, road transportation presents a high risk for travelers in rural areas due to erratic driving habits and poorly maintained infrastructure. Road accidents are frequent.
It is advisable to travel with licensed taxis whenever possible. Use of public transportation is not advised due to generally unsafe conditions.
Police often carry out random security checks on the street and at checkpoints. Keep identification documents on hand at all times.
There is no railway system in Jordan.
Rolling power outages occasionally occur, especially during extreme heat when the demand for electricity exceeds the country's production capacity.
Jordan's climate for the most part is semi-arid, although it is fully arid in the east of the country. Summers are hot and dry with scorching temperatures between May and September. Winters are cool, even cold, in certain areas; snow sometimes falls at higher elevations. The country receives most of its annual rainfall between November and February. Spring and autumn are mild and pleasant.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz