(Ecofin Agency) - The International Monetary Fund announced in a July 20 statement it has agreed to write off up to $7.6 million of Burundi’s debt.
The move aims to help the country face the coronavirus crisis and the socio-economic challenges that came with it. It is part of the Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) Trust, and is expected to "help free up resources for public sector health needs including other emergency spending and help mitigate the balance of payments shock posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IMF said.
With 328 positive cases, including one death, Burundi expects its external financing needs to increase considerably for 2020 and 2021. This situation is due in particular to a drop in exports, a high need for imports, and a reduction in remittances from the diaspora.
“Given the risks ahead, it will be important to ensure close cooperation with multilateral organizations and donors and ensure adequate budget allocations toward health and other priority spending,” the IMF said in its statement.
The relief measure concerns Burundi's debt service due to the IMF from 21 July to 13 October 2020. Additional relief will also be provided if resources are available, this time covering the period from 14 October 2020 to 13 April 2022, which could bring total debt service relief to the about $24.97 million.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou