IMF approves $67.38 million in emergency support to Equatorial Guinea to address COVID-19 and accidental explosions

  • The IMF Executive Board approved Equatorial Guinea’s request for emergency assistance equivalent to about US$67.38 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument.
  • The pandemic and the Bata explosions have inflicted heavy damage on Equatorial Guinea’s economy, substantially weakened its near-term economic outlook, increased economic and financial stress, and severely affected the livelihood of much of the population.
  • The authorities are committed to taking further steps as part of their ongoing effort to addressmacro-critical governance and corruption challenges facing Equatorial Guinea.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved a disbursement of about US$67.38 million to Equatorial Guinea under the Rapid Financing Instrument(RFI).

The disbursement will help meet the urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and March Bata explosions, and catalyze additional external resources as well as bolster the regional reserves of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Bata explosions have inflicted heavy damage on Equatorial Guinea’s economy and have increased external financing needs in the balance of payments by an additional projected US$625 million (5 percent of GDP) in 2021-22 (relative to the EFF-supported program). 

IMF said Guinean authorities “have appropriately boosted critical frontline healthcare spending, including the purchase of a large batch of vaccines, and rolled out social assistance to households severely affected by the pandemic and the Bata explosions.”

“While tackling these crises, the authorities have taken an important initial step to address macro-critical governance and corruption challenges by adopting an anti-corruption law, which is in line with international good practices,” added IMF.

To boost transparency, they have established two escrow accounts at the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) for pandemic and Bata emergency-related spending, and are undertaking audits of such spending.

The IMF stands ready to provide policy advice and further support to Equatorial Guinea as it battles the fallout from the pandemic and the Bata explosions, including as part of the ongoing cooperation under the EFF-supported program.

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