Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that 85 countries have applied to benefit from the fund’s assistance to battle the coronavirus “COVID-19”, including 14 countries in the MENA region and Central Asia.
He added in an interview with “CNBC”, that the IMF is operating a rapid financing mechanism to support countries that suffer the repercussions of the Corona virus in order to obtain financial support that can be available within 3 weeks.
Azour mentioned that the fast financing mechanism secures 50% of the share of each country and is working to raise it to 80% or even 100%, and that it secures the rapid needs and additional health expenditures for each country, as well as securing the needs of emerging countries and low-income countries in the face of Corona.
The Director said that there are 3 challenges facing countries in light of the Corona outbreak, which are preserving the health and safety of citizens, maintaining the health of economic engines and ensuring a rapid exit from the crisis.
He explained that the impact of the corona pandemic may extend to the next year, noting that providing aid to countries requires that there be a budget deficit in payments in addition to the ability of countries to pay.
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF said, following a conference call of G20 earlier this month, that Nearly 80 countries are already requesting IMF help to battle coronavirus. “We stand ready to deploy our US$1 trillion lending capacity,” she added.
It is noteworthy that a government source said last March that the government is negotiating with international institutions including the World Bank Group (WBG) and the IMF to obtain urgent funding for the coronavirus pandemic plan.