The fight against Covid-19 is going to take a new twist as Rwanda is expected to receive a boost worth $109.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“IMF Executive Board today approved US$109.4 million disbursement to help Rwanda address the economic impact of COVID-19,” the fund said on Thursday.
The IMF said it had been closely monitoring the way Rwanda is handling the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the country’s economy which the agency says has been brought down onto its knees.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic has ground Rwanda’s economy to a halt, creating an urgent balance of payments need.”
The fund said this was the first COVID-19 emergency funding for an African country and they are working hard on other requests.
By Thursday, Rwanda had announced that it had 84 confirmed cases of persons that tested positive to Coronavirus. The country has since descended into a Lockdown closing all businesses, airports and borders except cargo transport.
With the anticipated challenges under lockdown, the government on Saturday started distributing essentials first to the most vulnerable citizens across the country. They include; maize flour, beans, cooking oil, rice, salt, and sugar and soap.
The financial package from the IMF comes in at a right time. It will drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). “This will serve to meet Rwanda’s urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” IMF said in a statement.
The IMF fears that with uncertainties surrounding the duration and spread of the pandemic, the economic fallout could intensify further.
According to the IMF observation, Rwanda central Bank has taken various measures to help maintain the health of the financial sector and should continue to show flexibility, while encouraging prudent loan restructuring and stepping up reporting requirements.
“Additional donor support is critical to close the remaining financing gap, ease the adjustment burden, and preserve Rwanda’s development gains over the last two decades,” the IMF said.