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Dominica’s PM Says IMF Funds Will Help Kick Start Income Support Program

Dominica's Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit.

Dominica’s PM Says IMF Funds Will Help Kick Start Income Support Program

ROSEAU, Dominica, May 1, 2020 (CMC) – Dominica’s government said, yesterday, it will use the US$14 million loan, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to provide income support, next month, for persons, directly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has virtually shut down the economy of many countries.

Earlier this week, the IMF said it would be providing US$65.6 million to Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia to help these islands address the coronavirus pandemic, and that the funds are being made available, under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

Speaking on a radio program, here, yesterday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, told listeners that “the idea is to kick in the income support in the month of May…and those, who are directly impacted, can benefit from this”.

He said his focus, as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, has been heavy on the public sector investment program, “because I believe, if the government, through construction, can invest significant sums of money into the economy, then that will certainly create jobs and economic activity that will benefit all of us in Dominica”.

Skerrit said that his administration is very grateful for the IMF funds, and added, “I want to say to the country, that the funds from the IMF have come without no conditions on us”.

“So there is nothing that the IMF will be expecting us to do. The IMF knows this government. The IMF has been working with this government, since 2000…and we have continued to use the vast expertise, which the IMF has, in a number of areas,” he said.

He said the Washington-based financial institution is aware it is dealing with “a responsible government, an accountable government and a transparent government”.

The IMF said that the funds to Dominica represents 89.4 percent of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) quota, and will be used, as in the case of Grenada and St. Lucia, to cover their balance of payment needs, stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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