The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved an additional disbursement of $52 million to Mauritania to respond to COVID-19 economic fallout.
The new disbursement was approved under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Mauritania, after the IMF Executive Board completed the fifth review of the loan.
The initial ECF arrangement was approved on December 6, 2017 with total access of US$164 million. The augmentation brings total access under the ECF arrangement to $193 million.
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“In completing today’s review, the Board also approved the authorities’ request for an augmentation of access of SDR 20.24 million (about US$28.7 million or 15.7 percent of quota) to address higher-than-anticipated financing needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IMF wrote in a statement.
Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Board Chair, said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose severe human, economic, and social hardships in Mauritania.
“Economic activity has slowed down sharply and the outlook has weakened. The overall budget deficit could widen significantly, giving rise to large balance of payments and fiscal financing needs. Risks are tilted to the downside given risks of a more protracted global and domestic COVID-19 outbreak,” Furusawa wrote.
“The IMF’s continued financial assistance, along with other financing from the international community, will help Mauritania respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis by providing space to increase spending on health services and social protection programs. Further external support will be needed to close prospective financing needs next year,” he added.