The International Monetary Fund said it had approved $7.6 million debt relief to Burundi to help address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the relief for three months would be potentially raised to $24.97 million over the next 21 months, if resources are available.
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“IMF debt relief will help free up resources for public sector health needs, including other emergency spending and help mitigate the balance of payments shock posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ the IMF said in a statement.
The IMF said it has revised downwards economic growth projections for 2020 by 5.3 percentage points to -3.2 per cent this year.
“The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing economic challenges and creates significant external financing needs in 2020 and 2021, mainly as a result of lower exports, elevated imports needs and reduced remittances inflows,’’ it said.
Burundi has so far had 328 cases of COVID-19 and one death. NAN