The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board of Directors Wednesday October 21, 2020 approved a further disbursement of $156 million, (86.2 billion FCFA) to Cameroon in support of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This amount given under the Rapid Credit Facility of the IMF, comes after an earlier sum of $226 (135.1 billion FCFA) granted the country for the same purpose on May 4 this year.
According to the IMF, since the approbation of the first Rapid Credit Facility demand in favour of Cameroon on May 4 2020, the weak external demand from the country’s principal commercial partners as well as the more serious impact of the confinement measures aimed at slowing down the propagation of the virus have worsened the growth perspectives of the country as well as the budgetary provisions and its external financial outlay.
“Consequently, the urgent needs of balance of payment linked to the pandemic have increased, with the financial deficit now estimated at about 917 billion FCFA ($1.834 billion) as against 628 billion FCFA ($1.56 billion) in June 2020”, revealed the IMF in a statement.
The world financial body says the supplementary disbursement approved on October 21, 2020 would help Cameroon to “respond to the urgent financial needs necessary to attenuate the impact of the pandemic”.
This new assistance to Cameroon follows the satisfaction of the Bretton Woods institution with the strategy put in place by the government to fight against the pandemic which arrived on the shores of Cameroon in March, 2020.
“The authorities reacted in a proactive manner to the Covid-19 pandemic and are intensifying their efforts to contain the propagation of the sickness, have augmented expenditure on health and social protection and furnished temporary support to enterprises and households so touched.
“In this regard, they have adopted a series of measures, notably a revised budget with a more important deficit, to take into account automatic stabilisers and urgent expenditure linked to the crisis and have put in place a triennial preparatory and intervention plan against the pandemic and have created a special Covid account”, the IMF declared.