iron steel coronavirus covid-19 aeci
World Health Organisation

The International  Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of US$886.2 million to help Côte d’Ivoire meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will come from the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) – equivalent to about US$295.4 million and a purchase under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) – equivalent to about US$590.8 million.

Côte d’Ivoire is feeling the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 economic outlook is expected to deteriorate substantially owing to the sharp slowdown in activity among the country’s trading partners, the hit to investors’ confidence, and the adverse economic impact of the needed containment and mitigation measures deployed by the authorities.

The government’s response to the pandemic has been swift, with strong social distancing and containment measures and an emergency health plan supported by the World Health Organisation. The authorities also announced an ambitious economic plan of about 1,5% of GDP for 2020 to prop-up the income of the most vulnerable segments of the population through agricultural input support and expanded cash transfers, provide relief to hard-hit sectors and firms, and support public entities in the logistics sectors to ensure continuity in supply chains.

Read: Healthy working during COVID-19

Aid will help preserve economic gains

The IMF support through RCF/RFI financing would help fill part of the financing gap and catalyse other concessional financing. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, deputy MD and chair of the IMF said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a considerable negative impact on Côte d’Ivoire’s economy, creating fiscal pressures and an urgent balance of payments need. The authorities swiftly adopted strong containment measures which, while necessary, will also weigh on economic activity.

 “The IMF emergency support under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument will help the authorities address the urgent fiscal and balance of payments financing needs. It will also help catalyse additional financing from other development partners. Additional donor support is critical to close the remaining financing gap and preserve Côte d’Ivoire’s substantial development gains over the past decade.”