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Jun 4, 2020

COVID-19 Financial Aid to Start Rolling in Next Week

Dean Barrow

To ease the foreign exchange crunch, G.O.B. is also turning to the International Financial Institutions. During his video presentation today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the public that the COVID-19 aid, all to a tune of one hundred million U.S. dollars, which was committed in March, will start flowing starting next week and carried over a period of months. This money, according to Barrow, will add cushion to the Central Bank’s reserve – and coupled with that should be able to inject the foreign exchange supply needed until tourism dollars start coming in the third or fourth quarter of the year.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Last week, when I provided an update on Government’s crisis response to COVID-19, I offered a reassurance of broad financial sector stability and, in particular, of continued commercial access to a sufficiency of foreign currency supply for essential imports. The certitude I conveyed is sowed by a ceaseless, creative campaign to tap every available source of external financing in support of our economy. In the next few days, the first disbursement from the IDB’s package is expected; and thereafter, in rapid succession during the ensuing months, the flows will come from Taiwan, the World Bank and OFID, in a total amount of some US$100 million. These fresh inflows will augment the Central Bank’s official reserve position, which currently surpasses the traditional 3 months of import cover. And the renewal of tourism earnings will commence during the third or, at the latest, fourth quarter of this year. Beyond the innovation of this first-of-a-kind Treasury Note, Government and the Central Bank will continue to engage financial intermediaries and their customers, encouraging fair and timely measures that foster confidence, stimulate employment and protect equity.”

 

So all in all, the government is counting on one hundred and thirty million dollars of new money in the system.


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