IMF approves $650 million in virus aid to Dominican Republic
WASHINGTON, USA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday, April 29, approved $650 million in emergency assistance to the Dominican Republic to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pandemic has significantly weakened the country's macroeconomic outlook for 2020 and created financing needs that require additional support," the IMF said in a statement released late Wednesday.
The money will be used to finance increased healthcare spending and to provide assistance to the most vulnerable, the IMF stated, welcoming measures taken by Dominican authorities to mitigate the economic shock.
It will be disbursed through the IMF's Rapid Financing Instrument, which allows countries to circumvent the lengthy negotiations usually needed to secure a full economic assistance program – time most countries do not have as they struggle to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
Tourist destinations such as the Dominican Republic have been hard-hit by the pandemic as virus-mitigation strategies have closed borders in much of the world and international travel has virtually shut down.
The country has counted 293 coronavirus deaths out of 6,652 cases, according to an Agence France-Presse tally. – Rappler.com