Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government is turning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to raise money to shore up the economy following coronavirus spread.

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

He, however, could not provide a figure for this anticipated gap.

Ghana has recorded seven cases of the virus and this has led to the closure of schools and a ban on public gatherings.

All international conferences and events that will increase social interaction have also been banned.

The Finance Minister also said the spread of the virus will negatively impact Ghana’s petroleum receipts due to the collapse of international crude oil prices, custom receipts, expenditures on health, and financing conditions on the fiscal front.

It will also affect tourism, travel, conferences, foreign direct investment, international trade, food and nutrition and poverty reduction, he said.

The Finance Minister, however, said some measures are being put in place to close a possible financing gap in the 2020 budget that could result from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

These may include withdrawal from the Ghana Stabilization Fund, tapping into a $12 billion World Bank Group fast track coronavirus facility, and tapping into a $10 billion IMF facility to address the coronavirus through Rapid Credit Facility.

“We are also discussing with other multilateral and bilateral partners on potential assistance to close the financing gap,” he added.