Press release 20/170:
April 17, 2020
- The IMF approved Bolivia’s request for emergency financial assistance of about US$327 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This assistance will help Bolivia support urgently required medical spending and relief measures to preserve social protection spending.
- Additional support from other development partners will also be critical to help address Bolivia’s fiscal and balance of payments needs.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Bolivia’s request for emergency financial assistance of about US$327 million (SDR 240.1 million, 100 percent of quota) under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to help the country meet the balance of payments need stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and support urgently required medical spending and relief measures to protect the well-being of the population.
Following the Executive Board discussion of Bolivia’s request, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic will have a severe impact on Bolivia. The economic cost will be substantial, as the combination of lower global energy prices, domestic quarantines, and a sudden stop in capital inflows leads to sharp reductions in exports, production, and fiscal revenues. The IMF’s emergency assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument will help to support urgently required medical spending and relief measures, while addressing the country’s balance of payments needs.
“Bolivia’s response to the pandemic has been timely, well-targeted, and appropriate. The authorities have acted to strengthen the ability of the country’s health care system to confront the crisis and have quickly adopted social spending measures to support affected firms and households, particularly the most vulnerable. The central bank has taken steps to ensure continued liquidity and to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
“The authorities have expressed their determination to ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability once the crisis has passed. To this end, they are committed to reaching a sustainable fiscal deficit in the medium term, while continuing to maintain strong support for social spending, and to adopt other macro and financial measures as needed.
“Additional support from other development partners will also be critical to help address Bolivia’s fiscal and balance of payments needs.”