The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that it has approved US$65.6 million for Dominica Grenada, and St. Lucia to help address the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The funding is being made available under the Rapid Credit Facility.
IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of COVID-19 on the population.
Dominica will receive US$14 Million while St. Lucia gets US$21.4 Million and US$ 22.4 Million goes to Grenada.
Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair said these countries are small states that are very vulnerable to shocks, including large natural disasters, with Dominica in particular, still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“The COVID-19 pandemic poses a major challenge to Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia. Their key tourism sectors have been hit hard by the shock. The contraction in tourism is expected to have a major impact on their economies, by causing ripple effects across all economic sectors, eroding fiscal revenues, and creating urgent balance of payments pressures. In addition, these three small states are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters,” Zhang said.
He said further the governments of Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada have responded to the pandemic by swiftly implementing containment measures, allocating scarce budgetary resources to critical health care spending, and introducing income support to the most affected sectors and households.
“Protection of the financial system will help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Measures have also been taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to facilitate the provision of credit and safeguard financial stability,” Zhang added
The IMF, according to him, will continue to be engaged with Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.
Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia are members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), and the disbursements would support macroeconomic stability and facilitate the subsequent economic recovery of the region.