IMF supports Rwanda with $109.4 million loan facility to tackle coronavirus

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has approved the disbursement of $109.4 million to Rwanda to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approved amount will be drawn from under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

This makes Rwanda the first African country to receive a loan facility from the fund.

Rwanda has so far recorded 84 COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, people living in the East African country are faced with high food prices after the government on Thursday extended a national lockdown by 15 days.

In a statement Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Tao Zhang said “The COVID-19 pandemic has ground Rwanda’s economy to a halt, creating an urgent balance of payments need. To contain and mitigate the spread of the virus, the government swiftly implemented measures that have affected all sectors of the economy. With uncertainties surrounding the duration and spread of the pandemic, the economic fallout could intensify further.

“The IMF emergency support under the Rapid Credit Facility will help with COVID19-related pressures on trade, tourism, and foreign exchange reserves, and will provide much-needed resources for health expenditure and households and firms affected by the crisis. It should also help to catalyze donor support,” he added.

The IMF said on Twitter that it is “working hard on other requests”.

To curb the spread of the disease in Rwanda, the government has taken measures which includes an extension of its lockdown, the closure of its borders.

This is affecting the East African country which receives a huge amount of foreign exchange from tourism.

The IMF is projecting Rwandan GDP growth this year to tumble to 5.1%. Last year, growth hit 9.4% according to government data.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has approved $1.9 billion in global coronavirus funding on Thursday, including $82.6 million to Ethiopia, $50 million to Kenya, and $47 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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