Coronavirus: Parliament approves $35m facility from World Bank

Parliament has approved a $35 million facility from the World Bank for the Emergency Response Efforts of government against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The proceeds from the facility will account for part of the $100 million announced by the government to finance the country’s response to the pandemic.

The funds will be disbursed under a rapid credit facility from the World Bank dedicated for the fight against COVID-19.

A Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor, had earlier noted that this was the route the government was going to take to secure the $100 million.

He also said the remainder of the amount would be coming from the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID).

“This is another loan from the International Development Authority (IDA) of the World Bank,” he noted.

Indications are that Ghana has also turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The IMF in a press release disclosed that the government had requested a rapid credit facility disbursement to help the country address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ghana is also among the International Development Association (IDA) countries that could benefit from temporary debt relief during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund have called “on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance.”

In his recent address to Parliament, the Finance Minister noted that the cumulative effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also announced that the GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme will be funded from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund.

The Minister is also seeking the support of Parliament to amend the relevant laws to lower the cap of the Stabilisation Fund from $300 million to $100 million.

This is to enable the government to use the excess funds to bridge the gap created by the economic impact of the pandemic.