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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, speaks at Monday’s (April 27) COVID-19 digital media briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre. (Photo: JIS)

IMF approves US$520-m disbursement to Jamaica

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, speaks at Monday’s (April 27) COVID-19 digital media briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre. (Photo: JIS)

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved Jamaica’s request for access to its Rapid Financing Instrument in the amount of approximately US$520 million.

The seal of the International Monetary Fund is seen at the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2015. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The amount represents 100 per cent of Jamaica’s quota and the maximum amount available under this facility.

A release from the Finance ministry said the Government has taken strong and decisive action to slow the spread of the new coronavirus in Jamaica, to strengthen public health capacity, and to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on vulnerable individuals and small businesses.

“We are grateful to the Fund for the quick response to Jamaica’s request which was made exactly one month ago on April 15, 2020.”

– Minister of Finance, Dr Nigel Clarke

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted tourism-related foreign exchange inflows as well as remittances, and is forecast to significantly dampen economic activity.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke said “The resources approved by the IMF today will be extremely valuable in boosting foreign exchange reserves, and in assisting Jamaica to meet COVID-19 related balance of payments challenges.

The International Monetary Fund building in Washington, DC, USA (File photo)

“Our fiscal and monetary reforms have provided Jamaica with options that many countries do not have. Public body reform, inclusive of divestment and reintegration of public bodies, as well as recent fiscal over-performance has provided substantial cash resources that will be deployed to assist in the financing of the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“These tangible dividends of our reform effort further reinforce our continued commitment to Jamaica’s economic reform agenda.”

“We are grateful to the Fund for the quick response to Jamaica’s request which was made exactly one month ago on April 15, 2020.”