IMF approves emergency loan for Ecuador

Agence France-Presse
Ecuador faces a double crisis in the form of the coronavirus and a fall in oil prices

BURIAL. Aerial view of workers burying a coffin at Maria Canals cemetery in the outskirts of Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 12, 2020, amid the coronavirus outbreak. Photo by Jose Sanchez/AFP

WASHINGTON, USA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $643-million emergency loan for Ecuador, as the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices hit the South American nation.

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Economy and Finance said on Friday, May 1, the 5-year loan came with “favorable conditions” at 1.05% interest.

The country faces a double crisis in the form of the virus and a fall in oil prices, with the IMF forecasting a drop of 6.3% in the country’s gross domestic product in 2020.

Ecuador has so far reported more than 25,000 COVID-19 infections and 1,000 deaths linked to the disease.

“This financing will provide the necessary liquidity to support the reactivation of production and the protection of jobs,” the ministry said in a statement.

The credit offering joins a 3-year economic assistance program signed by Lenin Moreno’s government with the international body in 2019.

That $4.2-billion loan involved a raft of cuts and fiscal adjustments that led to a wave of protests in October 2019 when the government raised fuel prices. –