$37.7 million has been released by the IMF to Ebola infected country, Guinea to help fight the deadly virus.
The IMF Executive Board approved the release of $25.9 million to Guinea under the West African country’s existing IMF-backed programme, and also boosted financing under the programme by an extra $37.7 million.
The IMF said the move aimed to enhance Guinea’s international reserves, cover its budget, and meet urgent balance of payments needs resulting from the Ebola crisis.
The package of extra IMF financing for Guinea comes on top of $100 million in debt relief funded by IMF grants, announced earlier this month. The debt relief followed $130 million in emergency assistance the IMF disbursed in September 2014 to the African countries worst hit by the Ebola outbreak—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
An IMF statement said the Board completed a review of Guinea’s economic performance under a programme supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility loan of $199 million approved in February 2012.
All quantitative performance criteria had been met, but with the authorities focused on combating the Ebola outbreak, structural reforms had slowed and implementation of some benchmarks had been delayed. The programme was extended to end-December 2015.
IMF staff said in a report that Guinea’s 2015 economic policies would support the fight against the Ebola outbreak, which looks set to persist well into the year and tip the economy into recession this year. The staff said a concerted international effort is required to help the authorities fully implement their Ebola response plan.