The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved an additional $156 million disbursement to Cameroon to respond to COVID-19 economic fallout.
The new disbursement, under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), is the second emergency financial release to Cameroon since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early this year.
It brings total IMF emergency support to Cameroon since the outbreak of the pandemic to $382 million, and is meant to help the central African nation meet its urgent balance of payments and fiscal.
Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges for Cameroon. Declining economic activity and persisting terms of trade shock are giving rise to substantial fiscal pressures and an urgent balance of payments need.
“IMF emergency financing under the RCF will help support the government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the twin shocks, especially on the vulnerable. Additional assistance from development partners will be critical to fill the remaining financing need,” Furusawa said.
According to him, “In response to the shocks, the authorities continue to implement strong and decisive actions to limit the spread of the virus and its economic and social impact, including the adoption of a three-year preparedness and response plan. Additionally, a package of monetary easing measures has been approved by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) and the authorities have adopted a revised budget with a larger deficit to accommodate the impact of the pandemic, including crisis-related emergency spending.
“The authorities have reiterated their firm commitment to an effective and transparent use of public funds and to ensure that RCF financing and resources freed up by the DSSI are efficiently spent on addressing the pandemic crisis. In this context, steps taken by the authorities to publish the beneficial ownership of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement related contracts are important.
“Once the crisis abates, it is important that the authorities reinvigorate reforms and policy adjustment in line with Cameroon’s medium-term reform agenda, to support strong recovery and protect the poor, while safeguarding debt sustainability.”