The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the tiny Balkan countries will receive the emergency financial aid for fighting against COVID-19 outbreak.
IMF, The Washington-based lender, confirmed on Friday it will disburse $191.8 million in emergency loan to North Macedonia to help the small Balcan nation cope with the economic consequences of the global coronavirus shock.
Commenting on the financial support, IMF said that a loan has been approved under the lender’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). That money will help to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in Kosovo and North Macedonia, bringing the urgent balance of payments needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
As CGTN reports, the IMF emergency loans are provided in the form of immediate disbursements and would be mostly given to low-income emerging-market countries to mitigate the economic tremor of the novel pathogen.
In fact, Macedonia had projected its GDP would grow 3.8 percent this year. So far, the tiny country has recorded 711 cases of coronavirus infection and 32 deaths.
“The authorities quickly responded with targeted and temporary fiscal policy support to limit the social and economic impact of the health emergency,” Tao Zhang, the IMF Executive Board deputy managing director and acting chair, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has also approved a 51.6-million-euro (56.06 million U.S. dollars) loan for Kosovo to tackle the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus and address urgent balance of payments issues, the international lender said.
“The economy is expected to contract by five percent in 2020 as tourism receipts, remittances, exports of goods, and FDI will decrease due to travel restrictions and the effect of COVID-19 in trading partners and remittance-originating countries,” the IMF said in a statement.
Kosovo’s authorities are going to inject some EUR180 million into the roughly eight-billion-euro economy to help the private sector cope with the crisis. So far, 250 people were infected with the coronavirus in the region, including seven deaths.
IMF continues to support the countries all over the globe
The IMF said it had an overall lending capacity of one trillion U.S. dollars and would do all it can to come to countries’ aid. Apart from issuing emergency loans, it is also exploring other options to lend its support for countries to stem the crisis.
The head of IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, said that the loans aimed at providing additional liquidity support, including through the creation of new solutions that would allow lending even to countries whose debt was unsustainable.