Namibia seeks IMF funding to help fight COVID-19

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – The Namibian government has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 4.5 billion Namibian dollars ($274 million) emergency loan to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Finance spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We submitted an application to IMF last week. We will assess the terms and conditions to see if they are favourable to Namibia,” the ministry’s spokesman Tonateni Shidhudhu told Reuters.

Namibia had previously avoided loans from the IMF since becoming a member in 1990, but the coronavirus pandemic has seen many nations seek assistance from the lender in recent months.

The IMF on Monday approved $4.3 billion in emergency financing for South Africa to help address the “severe economic impact” and health challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Namibia, confirmed COVID-19 cases have surged in recent weeks after a slower infection rate at the start of the outbreak in the country in March.

So far, Namibia has 1,917 cases and has recorded eight deaths.

Its budget deficit for the current fiscal year is seen widening to 68.7% of gross domestic product, from an estimate of 54.8% in the previous year.

($1 = 16.4130 Namibian dollars)

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