The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday completed the fourth review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for The Gambia, and approved an immediate disbursement of about US$ 6.72 million to the country to help meet its “financing needs, address the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, and support the post-pandemic recovery.”
The IMF said despite the various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gambian economy grew by 4.3 percent in 2021 and is expected to grow by 5.6 percent in 2022, adding that the authorities “remain committed to strong policy measures and structural reforms, including on fiscal management, State-Owned Enterprises, and governance.”
An extended credit facility is not a gift but a loan that is extended over a period of time, pending a number of agreements with the Washington DC-based institution.
On Friday, the IMF Board also completed a financing assurances review and granted a waiver of nonobservance of a performance criterion on the ceiling on the net domestic borrowing of the central government.
The IMF wrote, “The ECF arrangement for The Gambia was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on March 23, 2020 , with an initial total access of SDR 35 million (or 56.3 percent of quota) that was augmented to SDR 55 million (88.4 percent of quota) at the time of the completion of the first review under the ECF, on January 15, 2021 . The Gambia has also benefited from an IMF Rapid Credit Facility disbursement of SDR 15.55 million approved on April 15, 2020 and received debt service relief from the IMF under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, totaling SDR 7.9 million.
“The Gambia’s economic growth is estimated at 4.3 percent in 2021 despite the various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic . Growth is projected to reach 5.6 percent in 2022, predicated on strong remittance inflows, a robust expansion of the construction sector, and large public investment projects. The repercussions of the war in Ukraine intensify inflationary pressures, exacerbate pandemic-related uncertainties, dampen tourism prospects, and disrupt the supply of food and agricultural inputs. The central bank took initial measures to contain inflationary pressures, as inflation reached 11.7 percent at end-April 2022. The authorities are advancing reforms on several fronts, including the transparency of COVID-19 spending, the institutional framework of State-Owned Enterprises, revenue administration, and public financial management.”