IMF renews $10.8-billion credit line for Colombia as recession looms
WASHINGTON, USA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday, May 1, renewed a nearly $11-billion credit line for Colombia as a backstop amid the growing economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Colombia has had a Flexible Credit Line (FCL) since May 2009, and the IMF board has renewed it every two years, providing the country with money that could be deployed to head off a crisis.
But Bogota has never drawn on the funds, treating it as a precaution.
The Washington-based lender praised the South American nation's early and forceful response to the pandemic, which will help it weather the oncoming recession.
"In the wake of the pandemic, Colombia's economy is expected to contract for the first time in two decades," IMF First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto said in a statement.
"Risks to the economy is sharply skewed to the downside," he said, as the country is vulnerable to falling commodity prices as well as a "further deterioration" of the crisis in neighboring Venezuela, which has caused millions of refugees to flee to Colombia and other nations in the region.
"The new arrangement under the FCL will help Colombia manage heightened external risks, protect ongoing efforts to effectively respond to the pandemic, integrate migrants, foster inclusive growth, and reduce external vulnerabilities," Okamoto said.
Colombia is one of only 3 countries that have received an FCL, along with Mexico and Poland, which exited the arrangement in late 2017. – Rappler.com