Mon, 01 Jun 2020

Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan], Mar 27 (Xinhua/ANI): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday approved a disbursement of 120.9 million U.S. dollars to address Kyrgyzstan's COVID-19 outbreak, its first offer of emergency financial assistance since the pandemic started.

The IMF allocated 80.6 million dollars under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and 40.3 million dollars under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of COVID-19, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

This is the first IMF emergency loan under the RFI/RCF worldwide since the outbreak of the pandemic, the statement said.

"We all understand that the outbreak weakened the macro and microeconomic prospects of Kyrgyzstan and showed a gap in the balance of payments, which is estimated at about 400 million dollars," Baktygul Zheenbaeva, Kyrgyzstan's finance minister, said at a government briefing on Friday.

She noted that the loan is on favorable terms, and will go towards supporting the country's budget.According to the IMF statement, the emergency support will help provide a backstop, increase buffers, and shore up confidence during this time of uncertainty.

It will also help catalyze donor support and preserve fiscal space for essential COVID-19-related health expenditure.

To date, 58 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been registered in Kyrgyzstan, according to the country's ministry of health.(Xinhua/ANI)

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