Washington: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement to the Republic of Tajikistan under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) equivalent to SDR 139.2 million (US$ 189.5 million, 80 percent of quota). These funds will help meet the urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help prevent severe economic and human disruption and preserve fiscal space for essential COVID-19-related health and social expenditure.
The economic and social impact of the crisis is expected to be substantial in Tajikistan. The economy is currently projected to contract by 2 percent this year and the overall budget deficit could rise to 7.7 percent of GDP.
Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Tao Zhang, Managing Director and Chair, made the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe human and economic impact in Tajikistan. Trade and transportation disruptions have led to a sharp drop in remittances and government revenues and created urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs.
“The authorities have responded with an action plan and measures to contain the pandemic. Health spending and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and sectors in the economy are the immediate priorities, and a temporary widening of the budget deficit is appropriate. The authorities are committed to full transparency and reporting of resources deployed for the emergency response, including publication of quarterly reports and ex-post audits of crisis-related spending. Over the medium term, the authorities are committed to fiscal consolidation and prudent borrowing policies to reduce the budget deficit and put debt on a sustainable path. The authorities are also committed to exchange rate flexibility and improving the functioning of the FX market to support growth and to external adjustment, while avoiding excessive volatility and economic disruption. Monetary policy will remain vigilant to liquidity and inflation developments.
“The IMF’s financial assistance under the RCF will provide a sizable share of the financing needed to implement the anti-crisis measures. Additional concessional and grant financing from the international community will be critical to close the remaining financing gap.”