(Ecofin Agency) - Sierra Leone will receive $50.3 million in financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a rapid credit facility (RCF). This was announced by the institution in a statement issued on Monday, March 15, 2021.
The money will be used to meet the country’s balance of payments and fiscal needs, which have sharply increased due to the covid-19 pandemic. To date, Sierra Leone has reported 3,938 cases of Covid-19 with 79 deaths.
“Sierra Leone is grappling with serious and persistent 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 protracted, exacerbating longstanding development challenges and the strained financing situation,” said Tao Zhang, IMF Deputy Managing Director, who however hails the authorities’ swift response against the pandemic.
In the past year, the government has increased spending on health and other priority expenditures to strengthen the resilience of the economy to the pandemic. A special credit facility has been established by the Bank of Sierra Leone to facilitate the supply of food to the country, despite the disruption of supply chains due to restrictions adopted to stop the spread of the disease.
According to the Bretton Woods institution, the new emergency funding will ensure that the authorities can sustain their response and recovery efforts.
For 2021, the IMF expects a growth of 2.7% for the country after a contraction of -3.1% in 2020.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou