IMF approves $109 emergency funding for Rwanda as COVID-19 cases rise to 84

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday that it has approved $109.4 million credit to Rwanda.

The disbursement will help the country, which has registered 84 coronavirus cases so far, to address the pandemic.

The emergency assistance is drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), which provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries.

“It will serve to meet Rwanda’s urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak,” the IMF said.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to significant fiscal and external financing needs.

According to the IMF, the RCF funds will support the authorities’ efforts by backstopping the decline in international reserves and providing financing to the budget for increased spending.

All this is aimed at containing the epidemic and mitigating its economic impact.

The IMF in a statement said its Executive Board had a discussion with Rwanda.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has ground Rwanda’s economy to a halt, creating an urgent balance of payments need,” Tao Zhang, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair.

The IMF said the emergency support will help with COVID19-related pressures on trade, tourism, and foreign exchange reserves.

It will also provide much-needed resources for health expenditure and for households and firms affected by the crisis.