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IMF approves $504 million loan for Costa Rica amid coronavirus

April 30, 2020

The IMF board on Wednesday approved $504 million in emergency financing for Costa Rica to help the Central American nation deal with the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like other countries, Costa Rica imposed nationwide closures to halt the spread of the virus, and those “necessary containment measures, coupled with the global economic downturn, are expected to take a major toll on the economy in the short term,” the IMF said in a statement.

The funding will “support essential COVID-19-related health spending and relief measures targeted to the most affected sectors and vulnerable populations.”

The IMF noted the government has eased spending controls, announced moratorium on tax payments and approved a package of measures to mitigate the impact of the lockdowns.

“The resources will allow the government to finance the attention to the health and economic crisis under very favorable rate and term conditions,” said the president of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Cubero, in a government statement.

The country has 713 confirmed cases and six deaths from the virus, according to official data released through the Health Ministry.

The emergency funds come from the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, which has been ramped up to get aid quickly to developing nations most vulnerable to the economic effects of shutdowns to contain the outbreak.

IMF Managing Director Kristina Georgieva said the fund has received over 100 requests for aid from its members, and developing countries will need about $2.5 trillion to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.

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