Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday approved a disbursement of $152.61 million to Gabon to respond to COVID-19 economic fallout.
“This is the second disbursement under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to help Gabon address urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IMF said in a statement in Washington D.C.
Today’s approval brings the total IMF COVID-19 support under the RFI to Gabon to $299.61 million.
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According to the Fund, weaker external demand and a deepening of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have further deteriorated growth prospects and worsened external and fiscal positions in Gabon.
The additional resources provided under the Rapid Financing Instrument will help boost healthcare, protect the most vulnerable and support the private sector, notably small businesses, IMF added.
Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director and Chair, said the economic contraction in Ganon has deepened since the first Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) request in April 2020, and external and fiscal positions have worsened, giving rise to additional financing needs.
“Public debt remains sustainable, but downside risks have increased significantly. The near-term outlook remains subject to considerable uncertainty and downside risks,” he said.