ABIDJAN – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced the disbursement of 10.8 million dollars to Gambia under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) arrangement.
This is contained in an Executive Board report issued on Thursday and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abidjan.
The report said the emergency financial assistance would enable Gambia to undertake urgent balance of payment and fiscal needs.
It stated that Gambia was facing urgent balance of payment needs triggered mostly by the impact of the regional Ebola outbreak on tourism.
The report said that the Ebola fever that occurred in some West African states caused a deep decline in Gambia’s tourism market.
“Though Gambia remains completely Ebola-free, the crisis caused a deep decline in tourism related activities, the economy’s principal foreign currency earner.
“A projected decline of about 60 per cent in tourism, Gambia’s principal export will strain the country’s balance of payments,’’ the report said.
It said the shocks coming in the wake of an extended period of weak policy implementation had exacerbated an already fragile macro-economic situation.
“To address these difficulties, the have taken bold steps in their 2015 budget by developing an ambitious reform agenda for public enterprises in the energy and telecommunication sectors.
“The country has also made very strong and bold efforts to secure donor support,’’ it said.
The report further said that the RCF assistance would fill budgetary gaps while the authorities implemented economic and structural policies aimed at restoring macro-economic stability, and reducing poverty.
“The RCF disbursement will also enable the authorities to engage in further discussions with the donor community regarding assistance to meet their remaining financing needs.
“The approval enables the immediate disbursement of the full amount of the RCF loan, which is equivalent to 25 per cent of Gambia’s quota in the IMF,’’ the report said. (NAN)
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