IMF approves 271 mln USD loan to Namibia to address COVID-19 pandemic

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WINDHOEK, April 1 (Xinhua) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a loan of 271 million U.S. dollars to address the fiscal financing needs for COVID-19 response in Namibia, an official said Thursday.

The funds will provide the needed financing to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency, including the purchase of vaccines and deployment of the vaccination campaign, needed to mitigate the severe socio-economic impact of the pandemic, Namibia’s Finance Ministry spokesperson Tonanteni Shidhudhu said in a statement Thursday.

Shidhudhu said the application was done last year from the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) that was made available by IMF to middle-income countries.

“The RFI provides rapid financial assistance to all IMF member countries facing financial headwinds and balance of payment challenges,” he added.

According to Shidhudhu, the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout have created a situation where Namibia’s fiscal deficit is widening substantially, at the same time the country’s receipts from exports of goods and services are contracting with consequent potential pressures on the external accounts.

“This is the first time that Namibia is taking a loan from this institution. It should be noted that this is not a normal IMF loan that comes with conditions. The repayment period of the loan is five years at the interest rate of 1.1 percent,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Fund underscores the devastating impacts of the pandemic on many countries and so far about 85 countries in the world have benefited from IMF financial relief for COVID-19, he said. Enditem

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