The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a Sh79billion loan to Kenya to help it fight the Covid-19 pandemic.


This is the second significant credit facility Kenya has received from Bretton Wood institutions in the last two months since the virus hit Nairobi.

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In April, the Ministry of Health received another Sh5.3billion from the World Bank to finance production of sanitisers, protective gear for medical personnel and scaling up bed capacity for Covid-19 patients.

In a statement released on Wednesday the Executive Board of the IMF said it had approved the disbursement of Sh79billion (about US$739 million) to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

The lender said the impact of Covid-19 on the Kenyan economy would be severe adding that it will act through both global and domestic channels, and downside risks remain large.

It noted that Kenya has committed to resume fiscal consolidation plans once the crisis abates to reduce debt vulnerabilities.

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It said the credit facility will help Kenya to address those needs and allow the government to maintain an adequate level of international reserves and help provide the budget financing needed to respond to the pandemic.

It added that it remains in close contact with the Kenyan authorities and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support, as needed.