IMF Approves $14.4 Million for The Gambia as Covid hits tourism sector

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 June 2021:

The IMF Executive Board has approved an immediate disbursement of about US$ 14.4 million to The Gambia to help meet the country’s financing needs and support the post-pandemic recovery.

According to the IMF, “The authorities deserve praise for the strong performance under the IMF-supported program and their ability to maintain macroeconomic stability, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic”.

A statement published by the IMF, says: “The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week completed the second review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with The Gambia. The completion of the review enables an immediate disbursement of SDR 10 million, about US$ 14.4 million, to help meet the country’s balance-of-payments and fiscal financing needs as well as support the post-pandemic recovery. This brings total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to SDR 35 million, about US$ 50.5 million. The Executive Board’s decision was taken on a lapse-of-time basis.

“The ECF arrangement with The Gambia was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on March 23, 2020 , with an initial total access of SDR 35 million that was augmented at the completion of the first ECF review on January 15, 2021 to SDR 55 million (88.4 percent of quota).

“The Gambia has also benefited from an IMF Rapid Credit Facility disbursement of SDR 15.55 million and is receiving debt service relief from the IMF under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, expected to total SDR 7.9 million, of which SDR 6.1 million has already been approved.

“The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened economic activity, with attendant socio-economic costs. For 2020, economic growth is estimated at zero percent; the tourism sector was hit hard while the agricultural and the construction sectors have shown resilience.

“For 2021, economic growth is expected to rebound to 4.9 percent, supported by the global and domestic vaccine rollout as well as the continued resilience of some economic sectors.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities relaxed the fiscal and monetary policy stances to help meet pandemic-related humanitarian needs and support economic activity, while keeping within program limits.

“Inflation dropped from 7.7 percent (year-on-year) at end-2019 to 5.7 percent (year-on-year) at end-2020 before picking up to 7.4 percent at end-March 2021 due to seasonal factors. Large official and private forex inflows helped boost reserves to 4.7 months of imports at end-2020. Public debt declined.

“Going forward, ensuring continuation of strong policies is paramount to maintain good program performance. Adequate fiscal policy prioritization will be key to addressing the pandemic and supporting economic recovery, while reducing debt vulnerabilities. Tax exemptions will be further streamlined, and savings will be made on subsidies to State-Owned-Enterprises (SOEs).

“Pursuing a prudent fiscal policy will ensure reducing the high risk of debt distress in the medium term. Monetary policy remains appropriately accommodative, while liquidity and inflation developments need to be monitored and pockets of financial vulnerabilities tackled. Given the slow credit growth in a context of ample liquidity, structural obstacles to credit should be addressed.

“It is critical to persevere in the ambitious structural reform agenda, especially in the context of upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, to fully reap the benefits from the country’s remarkable turn-around in recent years.

“Swift implementation of the business environment strategy will support strong and inclusive growth. The Public Procurement Act should be enacted to improve the value-for-money of spending. The SOE Bill, which is on hold because of the stalled constitutional reform, should be finalized to improve SOEs’ performance and reduce their reliance on the state budget.”

 

8 Comments

  1. Honorable Abdul Thomas – You have already excelled above and beyond measure with the Sierra Leone Telegraph; I have seen all of the
    Newspapers in our Sierra Leone and they are nothing compared to what you and your team have been offering our little country and the rest of the world. True. Trembling, dull, unreliable flickers of light, that’s what they really are, in a world that needs a blazing majestic objective Sun like the Sierra Leone Telegraph, where it is only men like you that stands out proudly with heads held high in the crowd of skeptics and losers.

    No doubt, Cocorioko is following at your heels, not too far behind. But for now it is only you Sir, that sits unchallenged and unfazed like a triumphant Eagle quietly preening her rough feathers on the Peaks of Kilimanjaro.

    Please allow me to contradict you Sir – You are not just doing fine – Awoko is doing fine, but you Sir – YOU are in the spheres of Excellence; YOU have set the bar as high as the peaks of Mt Everest so that others may become fully aware of the dedication and hard work it takes to set their most admirable, lofty standards, enviable goals and achieve them. Bravo. (lol)

  2. Thanks Mr Stargazer for pointing out the things that trouble my mind. I have been asking the same questions all my life to try and understand why some young black men when they see a fellow black man they want to hurt him. Now I am not talking about four hundred years ago. I am talking about modern times. I am a Marathon runner. I am out doing my long runs. Then out of no where, four young black men were driving the opposite direction. They stop in the middle of the road and reversed their car to check me out. I could have got stabbed or shot for straying in the wrong neighbourhood, where the majority of people living in that area are the same brethren.

    So many killings goes on in black neighbourhoods in the United States called black on Black violence. In the Uk knife violence, majority of it is carried out by young black men on each other. I know people will say its economic factors that fuel the violence. But black men are not the only minority in these countries. There are hard working black women, looking after the family, that are not involved in this sort of violence against each other. I have had near miss encounters with people that share the same skin colour like me.

    Now my question for all of us is why do we direct the violence against each other? You have Chinese Americans, Korean Americans, you have all sorts of minorities in these countries. But violence amongst us is more common. My question for you or anyone out there is why can’t we leran to get along? But why is it always the case that some blackmen think its their God given right to kill their fellow black men.

  3. Mr Wiecha, I thank you sincerely for embracing the truths in my insightful words – Sir,we need more discerning people like you to make this glorious forum far better than it is presently. The truth cannot be compromised – It is a light that shows us the way out of the darkness and can also be likened to hot,scorching flames of wildfires that cannot be quenched. Mr Jalloh you will have to make an effort to see beyond that which is visible to the naked eye. The sad story of Slavery is as complicated as the IMF’s financial maze where there are entrances but no exits. Now there are some people that have vehemently argued that African leaders should be held solely responsible for the millions that were shackled and sold into slavery centuries ago – That is exactly where I disagree.

    If you only go to the market to buy fresh meat that is already wrapped up you wouldn’t understand why the butcher’s apron is always smeared with blood – that’s because the backbreaking, slaughtering,slicing and dicing only happens behind the scenes; But how will you know if you among those of our people who only look at things at face value? How will you know that English,French and American Merchant Ships were loaded with massive Cannons,weapons, and poisoned arrows and attack dogs the likes of which our poor,weak and timid people have never seen before? Has anyone ever told you Sir,that most crew members of slave ships were also merciless Pirates and bandits? No?

    Oh well now you know. What would you have done differently Mr Jalloh with a loaded gun staring you in the face? Oh! Chew on this also: Slavery is a cruel Game of Exploitation where only weapons matter,where the numbers on your side don’t mean a damn thing – that’s how the evil Game of Slavery was played. Answer… if someone comes to your house armed to theteeth, kidnaps and carries one of your lovely daughters away,What will you do then? Will you put up a fight and say;” Kill us all; Kill the itsy bitsy children also and spare none of us if you are going to take her away?” Come on man; Our elders didn’t stand a. chance against heavily armed merchants;They would’ve been outgunned by the enemy; So,men like you think they were cowards huh? – not at all Mr Jalloh – they were pragmatic people who knew that it is better to live to fight another day – safeguard future generations to come by letting some of
    our people become the sacrificial lambs of martyrdom.(lol)

    • Mr Stargazer – you said: “Sir, we need more discerning people like you to make this glorious forum far better than it is presently.” Our aim in establishing this forum is to encourage and promote pluralism and healthy debate by empowering our readers to freely express differing views and shades of opinion. I think we are doing well so far. Lol

      • Dear Mr. Thomas, I’m happy that your newspaper and this forum exist. we the ordinary people need a free forum to express our critical differing views. Worldwide restrictions against free speech are increasing (facebook, youtube etc.). About critical investigations, you will not find it in the mainstream media.

        I hope your newspaper will be strong enough to resist against efforts to dominate us with the development for a new world order by the global financial capital, the IMF, the WHO and other organisations. This influence becomes more and more visible during this so called corona pandemic.

  4. Africa, with all it natural minerals resources, used correctly, it will benefits its people and make our continent one of the most advanced economies in the world. The trouble is, we are blessed with every thing under the sun. But lack the political leadership that think with their brains, not their heart. We have all the natural resources that will help the world transition from fossils fuel, to the much talked about the Green economy.The United States and China, two of the largest economies together with the European Union is looking to Africa, with its huge minerals that will help their economies make that transition. With out African minerals , western countries or the rest of orther countries around the world, that are aiming for net zero of emissions of greens house gasses by 2050, will not meet their stated target. The DRC alone produce minerals that helped make air craft wings. Batteries for electric cars, oil, Gass, Gold, Diamonds, bauxite, woods, flowers, human capital.

    Africa alone suffer more brain drain than any other continent.Because of wars, lack of opportunities and security challenges facing the Continent. Just like the 20th century, the 21st century is proving to be an other challenging time for Africa. For instance, there are more people of African heritage in the diaspora , that are qualified medical doctors, and nurses than the continent can boast of having. Africa have everything the world needs to feed their ever expanding economies, whilst some parts of our continent looks like we are just emerging from nuclear attacks by hostile forces. Yes some parts of continent might appear like that, but the responsibility for the horror stories that we see every day from the continent is perpetuated by our fellow black African brothers and sisters. This self hate that Africans exhibit for each other, didn’t starts with the advent of the industrial revolution, or the fourth industrial revolution we found ourselves today.

    Only Africans has the mind set to capture and bound his fellow black man and woman and sell them to an other race. More than 12 million, healthy Africans were sold into slavery across the Atlantic to so called New world. Just take a moment, or two and think about that. That is enough food for thought. It happened four hundred years ago. So in other words, Africans self hate of their fellow Africans didn’t start with African countries gaining their independence from their European colonial powers. To me the mind set of our present day politicians are no different from the Chiefs of yester years, that were selling their fellow Africans to slavery , in return for a bottle of zin and Gun powder. Our Morden day politicians, or African slave masters are not different from those times, as they are rewarded with Aid money, Ak 47, rifles, RPGs, Tanks, and military hardware. So the idea the African mind set have changed four hundred years on is a fools errands.

  5. Gentlemen – a loan shark and a cannibal are one and the same;One is a vampire that drinks the blood of the struggling poor masses to its hearts content,and the other feeds habitually and directly on raw human flesh. The IMF is a weird combination of the two types of human beings. How can anyone be so naive as to rely on a group of ruthless inconsiderate people that are the descendants of notorious slave merchants that kidnapped,maimed and killed millions of our people? Now here they come, wolves disguised in the clothing’s of harmless sheep; African leaders its time to handle your business – enough of that servant mentality that keeps on looking for saviors with eyes that resemble the bluest skies. (lol)

    Their evil ways didn’t start today but centuries ago in the dark caves of “Cheddar Gorge”Somerset in ancient Britain and the Moula Guercy caves in France. Those are not my words and findings, but credible reports of Smithsonian institute. It baffles me out of my wits to see our African leaders begging for paltry sums of money that ordinary athletes have been known to carry around in the trunk of their custom designed vehicles. Disgraceful indeed. The West has figured out how to rule the world a long time ago; Here’s their strategy that comes from the compulsive cravings of men who were once cannibals,men that ate their brethren for food in order to survive a merciless, unforgiving Ice Age. Are these the kinds of people you trust?

    The American bald Eagle that is a symbol of their strength has been known to eat its young ones in order to survive – So, what makes you think they care about you that is blacker than Charcoal? Folks,”There is no Fate but what we make for ourselves” – Those are the words that should now become the daily Mantra of the Gambia,Sierra Leone,Liberia and all the other countries in the African continent. Its time to forget about handouts, high interest loans and use creativity to move our nations forward.(lol)

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