São Tomé and Príncipe gets $12 million cash from IMF to combat COVID-19

São Tomé and Príncipe will get $12 million cash from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to combat COVID-19 following the board’s approval on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. 

The loan money falls under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The country will also benefit from IMF debt service relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).

Under the CCRT, São Tomé and Príncipe will not service its debt to the IMF in the next 6 months. That amounts for about $0.15 million. The relief could be extended for up-to 2 years, subject to the availability of resources under the CCRT.

According to the IMF, the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on Sao Tome and Principe, with tourism and externally financed projects halted and international supply chains disrupted. The challenging circumstances are further affected by the fragility of the economy and a weak health care system.

Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting IMF Chair, said the authorities of São Tomé and Príncipe have moved swiftly to develop a plan to address the major challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to posing a major health risk, the pandemic exerts strong fiscal and balance of payments pressures. Emergency support under the Rapid Credit Facility will help prevent a much more severe and prolonged economic contraction and provide space for critical health and social spending. It is also expected to help catalyze donor support, which is vital for closing the remaining financing gap,” Zhang added.

You can follow the IMF Lending Tracker to monitor IMF lending to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Below are the emergency financing requests approved by the IMF Executive Board for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Current SDR conversion rate

CountryType of Emergency FinancingAmount Approved
(in SDRs)
Date of Approval
BeninCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 7.43 millionApril 16, 2020
Burkina FasoRapid Credit Facility (RCF)


Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)
SDR 84.28 million

SDR 8.74
million
April 14, 2020
April 16, 2020
Central African RepublicCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)

Rapid Credit Facility (RCF)
SDR 2.96 million


SDR 27.85 million
April 16, 2020

April 20, 2020
ChadRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 84.12 millionSDR 10.12 millionApril 14, 2020April 16, 2020
Comoros, Union of theCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 0.97 millionApril 16, 2020
Congo, Democratic Republic of theCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 14.85 millionApril 16, 2020
Côte d’IvoireRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)SDR 216.8 millionSDR 216.8 millionApril 17, 2020
GabonRapid Financing Instrument (RFI)SDR 108 millionApril 9, 2020
Gambia, TheRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 15.55 millionSDR 2.10 millionApril 15, 2020April 16, 2020
GhanaRapid Credit Facility (RCF)SDR 738 millionApril 13, 2020
GuineaCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 16.37 millionApril 16, 2020
Guinea-BissauCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 1.08 millionApril 16, 2020
LiberiaCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 11.63 millionApril 16, 2020
Madagascar, Republic ofRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 122.2 millionSDR 3.06 millionApril 3, 2020April 16, 2020
MalawiCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 7.20 millionApril 16, 2020
MaliCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 7.30 millionApril 16, 2020
Mozambique, Republic ofCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 10.89 millionApril 16, 2020
NigerRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 83.66 millionSDR 5.64 millionApril 14, 2020April 16, 2020
RwandaRapid Credit Facility (RCF)Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 80.1 millionSDR 8.01 millionApril 2, 2020April 16, 2020
São Tomé and Príncipe, Democratic Republic ofCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)

Rapid Credit Facility (RCF)
SDR 0.11 million


SDR 9.03 million
April 16, 2020

April 21, 2020
SenegalRapid Financing Instrument (RFI)

Rapid Credit Facility (RCF)
SDR 215.73 million

SDR 107.87 million
April 13, 2020
Sierra LeoneCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 13.36 millionApril 16, 2020
TogoAugmentation of ECFCatastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)SDR 71.49 millionSDR 3.74 millionApril 3, 2020April 16, 2020
Total Amount ApprovedSDR 2,317.04 million
Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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