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Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 10:25

IMF backs for Ebola-hit Liberia

By Xinhua
IMF backs for Ebola-hit Liberia
A student has her body temperature checked as part of an Ebola screening at Don Bosco High School as schools reopen in the Liberian capital Monrovia on February 16, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / ZOOM DOSSO)

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved a 82.1-million-US dollar financing package for Ebola-hit Liberia in view of its pronounced fiscal and external financing needs.

The plan covers a disbursement of 45.6 million dollars from the Rapid Credit Facility and an immediate debt relief of about 36.5 million dollars under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

The credit facility fund will help the authorities fight the epidemic by covering urgent budgetary and balance of payments needs and by strengthening international reserves.

The IMF said that the debt relief would help catalyze further assistance from the international community.

Naoyuki Shinohara, deputy managing director of the IMF, said in a statement that the Ebola outbreak continues to cripple the Liberian economy despite the recent decline in new cases and that the country's fiscal and external financing needs are more pronounced than envisaged.

The Liberian economy is projected to contract in 2015 after stagnation in 2014 thanks to the impact of the epidemic and lower investment in mining and infrastructure.

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