IMF approves $1 billion loan for Ghana to address COVID-19 Pandemic
London, April 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved the immediate disbursement of $1 billion to Ghana to address urgent needs concerning the covid-19 pandemic
A statement from IMF said the loan facility, to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) will help address the urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs that Ghana is facing, improve confidence, and catalyze support from other development partners
The statement noted that ” COVID-19 pandemic is already impacting Ghana severely. Growth is slowing down, financial conditions have tightened, and the exchange rate is under pressure. This has resulted in large government and external financing needs. The authorities have timely and proactively responded to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana and support affected households and firms”
The IMF says it will continue to monitor Ghana’s situation closely and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.
Ghana’s credit facility comes the same day IMF approves immediate debt relief for 20 African countries and five others to help them free up funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa missed out on the debt relief
The debt relief will be funded by the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which was first set up to combat the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2015 and has been repurposed to help countries fend off COVID-19.
The fund currently has $500 million, with Japan, Britain, China and the Netherlands among its main contributors.
“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.