IMF approves emergency funding for pandemic-hit Myanmar

The International Monetary Fund said Friday it will provide Myanmar with $356.5 million in emergency funding, as the southeast Asian country battles an economic slump due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Myanmar economy is being impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 through a sharp decline in tourism and remittances and supply chain disruptions,” Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF deputy managing director, said in a statement.
The fund “will help address Myanmar’s urgent financing needs related to COVID-19 shock, and catalyze support from development partners.”

The money comes from two programs put into place to ensure rapid disbursement of funding without the need for lengthy negotiations over a reform program by Myanmar.

Some $118.8 million will come from the Rapid Credit Facility and the remaining $237.7 million will draw from the Rapid Financing Instrument.

It was the 72th request for emergency financial assistance approved by the fund’s executive board to address the impact of the pandemic.

The funding will help Myanmar’s government as it boosts health spending, expands food distribution and cash transfer programs to the most vulnerable, as well as businesses and farmers, the IMF said.

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