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Gambia gets $21.3m IMF credit to tackle Covid-19

The Gambian government has secured some 21.3 Million dollar credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to complement Covid-19 containment measures in the country.The Minister of Finance and  Economic Affairs, Mamboury Njie confirmed at a press briefing in Banjul  on Friday, that the money has been credited to the government coffers  via the country’s apex bank. 

According to the  Minister,   a bill will be put before deputies at the National Assembly, seeking  approval to use the IMF fund to supplement the implementation of the  national Covid-19 response plan. 

The D1.177 billion dalasi equivalent was granted to the Gambia government under the Rapid Credit Facility of the IMF. 

Minister Njie clarified,  that the IMF Rapid Credit Facility is given to member countries in times  of emergency. He argued that The Gambia was eligible for it as a  shareholder. 

Gambians have been divided  over the use of emergency responses funds including a 500 million  Gambian dalsisi approved by President Adama Barrow last month. 

Many feared that corruption will infiltrate in the process of spending the money. 

The Ministry of Health  outlined, that a great chunk of the money will be for medical equipment  and allowances for frontline health workers. 

The government has also acknowledged receipt of 10 million dollar from the World Bank last month to help contain the Covid-19. 

The Gambia with a population  estimated at about two million has a total of ten cases of the deadly  virus since the registration of the first case on 17th March, 2020.

Eight patients had been  treated and discharged and one died, leaving the country with only one  active case as of Friday’s update. 

Published on 28.04.2020

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