#COVID19Chronicles-32: May 16, 2020: Jamaica gets a kerb-side delivery from the IMF

The IMF Executive Board yesterday provided Jamaica with access (100 percent of its IMF quota, the maximum) to US$520 million in financial assistance through the new Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) (which is subject to the same financing terms as the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) and Stand-By Arrangements (SBA), and should be repaid within 3¼ to 5 years).

Being somewhat of a poster child still, the IMF’s MD was quick to lavish a bit more praise on Jamaica’s head.

The IMF’s press release noted:

‘The authorities’ policy response to the COVID-19 crisis is appropriate, including the timely adoption of targeted measures to support jobs and provide resources to vulnerable segments of the population. The COVID-19 emergency warrants a temporary reduction of the primary surplus and a modest delay in achieving the Fiscal Responsibility Law’s goal of bringing debt down to 60 percent of GDP.

It’s not much different in intent to what the Jamaican government has done for various groups of citizens with its various financial support packages, recently introduced, in providing emergency financial support. The map shows the growing number of countries (over 50) taking advantage of the IMF’s emergency support, which so far totals about US$21,000 million.

Right now, there’s not much to say about the IMF’s support, other than, in keeping with its mandate to provide emergency balance of payments support to member countries, it will go a long way towards easing some of the financing gap that Jamaica will be experiencing because of the significant reduction in foreign exchange inflows from tourism and remittances.

If you are interested in a range of somewhat zany and ill-informed commentary, you can click on the Twitter link for a good laugh. Amongst the crazed notions are some well-informed comments, but they’re far fewer.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)