The government of Ghana has put in a request for a Rapid Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF’s African Department Director, Abebe Aemro Selassie, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, revealed that the request from Ghana was received last week.

“Last week, the IMF received Ghana’s request for a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility to help the country address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are working hard to evaluate the authorities’ request and bring it forward for Executive Board consideration as soon as possible,” said Abebe.

The Rapid Credit Facility that Ghana is requesting provides rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries (LICs) facing an urgent balance of payments need.

The facility was created under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) as part of a broader reform to make the Fund’s financial support more flexible and better tailored to the diverse needs of LICs, including in times of crisis.

The facility typically places emphasis on the country’s poverty reduction and growth objectives.

It is not yet known how much Ghana is requesting, but President Nana Akufo-Addo has directed the Finance Minister to make available $100 million to enhance Ghana’s coronavirus preparedness and response plan.

Ken Ofori-Atta
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Subsequently, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, told Parliament last week that preliminary analysis undertaken by his ministry has shown the coronavirus will cause a funding gap in the economy.

Although he could not provide a figure for this anticipated gap, he revealed that the government will turn to the IMF and World Bank to raise money to shore up the economy following coronavirus spread.