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IMF Approves USD50 Million Loan to Sierra Leone to Address Covid-19 Impact

by Mohamed Gandoh Jalloh
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has on Monday, March 15, 2021, approved the disbursement of USD 50.37 million (17 percent of quota) under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to help Sierra Leone address the impact of Covid-19. 

“Sierra Leone is fighting with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the immediate health risks appear contained, 2021 will be another challenging year. The economic and social impact is likely to be prolonged, aggravating longstanding development challenges and the strained financing situation.” Said Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, of the IMF Executive Board.

The Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) is concessional financial loan assistance to low-income countries (LICs) facing an urgent balance of payments need. The funds are provided in a wide variety of circumstances, including shocks, natural disasters, and emergencies, and in times of crisis. The RCF loan carries a zero interest rate repayable in the period of 5½ years, and a final maturity of 10 years. 

“Emergency financing from the IMF under the Rapid Credit Facility will help meet urgent external and fiscal financing needs in 2021, and ensure that the authorities can maintain their response and recovery efforts. In line with their National Development Plan priorities, they continue to strengthen governance, including transparently reporting on their COVID-19 response, and publishing details of large emergency‑related procurement contracts.” Said Zhang.

The IMF had earlier on June 3, 2020, approved USD 143 million (50 percent of quota) under the Rapid Credit Facility to help Sierra Leone meet the urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs stemming from the COVID‑19 pandemic. 

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