IMF Executive Board Approves US$143 Million Disbursement to Sierra Leone to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

Via IMF (Den Internationale Valutafond)

IMF Executive Board Approves US$143 Million Disbursement to Sierra Leone to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic







June 3, 2020











  • The COVID 19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on Sierra Leone’s economy, jeopardizing hard-won gains since the Ebola health crisis.
  • The IMF approved the disbursement of US$143 million under the Rapid Credit Facility to support the authorities’ response to the pandemic.
  • The Sierra Leonean authorities are taking decisive and welcome actions to contain the pandemic and its socio-economic impact.

Washington, DC –
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved
the disbursement of SDR 103.7 million (US$143 million or 50 percent of
quota) under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to Sierra Leone to help meet
the urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs stemming from the COVID‑19
pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is severely impacting Sierra Leone’s economy. A sharp
contraction in external demand, and vital steps to contain the spread of
the virus, are disrupting domestic activity and important mineral exports.

The authorities have taken swift action to combat the effects of the
crisis, increasing health spending and social protection for the most
vulnerable, as well as steps to support the private sector and secure
critical supplies to address food insecurity. These substantial needs,
together with the already tight financing situation, underline the
importance of Fund support, and additional support from the international
community.

In the context of their broader commitment to strengthen governance, the
authorities are taking steps to ensure transparency and accountability in
executing pandemic-related measures.

IMF staff are working closely with the authorities to provide technical and
policy advice to help Sierra Leone as it battles the pandemic.

At the conclusion of the Board discussion, Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing
Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“The COVID‑19 pandemic puts Sierra Leone’s population at risk and is a
serious blow to the economy, which has just started to recover. The number
of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly, threatening the fragile health
system. The drop in external demand and essential measures to contain the
spread of the virus are sharply curtailing economic activity.

“The authorities are taking decisive actions to mitigate the health and
socio-economic impact of the pandemic. In collaboration with development
partners, they are scaling up urgent health spending and introducing
measures, including boosting social safety nets and ensuring access to
credit for affected businesses.

“Beyond the crisis, the authorities remain committed to their National
Development Plan and their reform program supported under the Extended
Credit Facility. They are taking steps to maintain macroeconomic stability
during the crisis and are continuing to strengthen governance, including by
seeking IMF technical assistance to implement accountability structures for
emergency spending. Once the crisis abates, resuming fiscal consolidation
and accelerating structural reform will be important. The IMF stands ready
to assist Sierra Leone as it fights the pandemic and to support its
economic reforms going forward.

“The shock has generated a large balance of payments need. Emergency
financing under the Rapid Credit Facility will help meet this financing gap
and create room for pandemic-related spending. With significant downside
risks and a tight financing situation threatening to reverse Sierra Leone’s
progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, additional grant support
from the international community is urgently needed.”

More information

IMF Lending Tracker (emergency financing request approved by the IMF
Executive Board)


https://www.imf.org/en/Topics/imf-and-covid19/COVID-Lending-Tracker

IMF Executive Board calendar


https://www.imf.org/external/NP/SEC/bc/eng/index.aspx


IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Meera Louis

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org

@IMFSpokesperson








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