May 7, 2020 / 5:38 AM / 2 months ago

Tajikistan secures $190 mln IMF loan to fight coronavirus crisis

DUSHANBE, May 7 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund’s executive board has approved a disbursement of $189.5 million for Tajikistan to help it “meet urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic”, the IMF said on Thursday.

The Central Asian nation confirmed its first novel coronavirus cases at the end of April, by which time it had already felt the economic impact of the outbreak as the volume of remittances from Tajiks working in Russia started to fall.

“The economy is currently projected to contract by 2% this year and the overall budget deficit could rise to 7.7% of GDP,” the IMF said in a statement, describing the pandemic’s impact on the former Soviet republic as severe.

While the Fund’s aid will provide a sizable share of the required financing, it said, “additional concessional and grant financing from the international community will be critical to close the remaining financing gap.” (Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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