(BARBADOS NATION) — Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced yesterday that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved about BDS$280 million in support, and the money should be in Barbados’ account by today.
This is the fourth IMF disbursement in support of the Extended Fund Facility Programme.
Mottley was attending a discussion on the Barbados Optional Saving Scheme (BOSS). The Prime Minister later told the media that the BDS$280 million included BDS$180 million, which would assist the country to get through the situation brought about by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and BDS$98 million to allow for the usual programme disbursement going forward.
“This [IMF] Board approval shows that we were on track with our programme . . . and, more importantly, our plans for how we intend to get out of COVID-19 have been accepted by the Fund and hence, that separate support of US$90 million. . . .
The Prime Minister said the money from the IMF would give Government a sense of comfort and provide the needed assistance to protect the country going forward. “Even though we are definitely not out of the woods, we are on the right path and we need to stay focused and do what we have to do,” she said.
A statement from the IMF said Barbados’ programme implementation is strong, with all performance criteria for end-March met.
“Barbados continues its strong implementation of the comprehensive Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan aimed at restoring fiscal and debt sustainability and increasing reserves and growth. The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic poses a major challenge for the economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism, and is expected to have a large impact on the balance of payments and the fiscal accounts,” the statement said.
Following the IMF executive board discussion, Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair said: “Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its comprehensive Economic Recovery and Transformation plan, with all performance criteria for end-March 2020 met. Prospects for continued strong programme performance are good.
“The accommodation in fiscal year 2020/21 will be compensated by higher primary surpluses in the medium term to ensure that the debt target of 60 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2033/34 is reached.