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 Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday approved the disbursement of about $28.8 million to the Gambia to help meet the country’s financing needs and support social spending and the post-pandemic recovery.
IMF said the COVID 19 pandemic continues to represent a significant challenge to The Gambia’s economy. However, growth is expected to rebound to 6.0 percent in 2021.
The authorities have maintained a prudent approach in their policy responses. They have advanced reforms for the effective and transparent delivery of much-needed social services, the IMF said.
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“Today, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first review of The Gambia’s performance under a program supported by a 39-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The ECF, with a total access of SDR 20 million, about US$28.8 million, to help meet the country’s balance-of-payments and fiscal financing needs and support the post-pandemic recovery. This brings total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 25 million, about US$36 million,” the IMF said in a statement.
It added that in completing the review, the Executive Board also approved an augmentation of access under the ECF arrangement from SDR 35 million to SDR 55 million (or 88.4 percent of The Gambia’s quota in the Fund). The Board also completed a financing assurances review and granted a waiver of nonobservance of a continuous quantitative performance criterion relating to a zero ceiling on the accumulation of external payment arrears.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Gambia has also benefited from an IMF Rapid Credit Facility disbursement of SDR 15.55 million (US$ 21.3 million at the time of approval) and is receiving debt service relief from the IMF under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, expected to total SDR 7.9 million, of which SDR 4.2 million (about US$5.83 million) has already been approved.