IMF approves emergency loan for Ecuador

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 15, 2020 a sign is seen outside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the IMF and World Bank hold their Spring Meetings virtually due to the outbreak of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, in Washington, DC. (Photo: AFP)

Washington, United States | The International Monetary Fund has approved a $643 million emergency loan for Ecuador, as the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices hit the South American nation.



The Ecuadorian Ministry of Economy and Finance said Friday the five-year loan came with "favorable conditions" at 1.05 percent interest.



The country faces a double crisis in the form of the virus and a fall in oil prices, with the IMF forecasting a drop of 6.3 percent in the country's GDP in 2020.



Ecuador has so far reported more than 25,000 COVID-19 infections and 1,000 deaths linked to the disease.



"This financing will provide the necessary liquidity to support the reactivation of production and the protection of jobs," the ministry said in a statement.



The credit offering joins a three-year economic assistance program signed by Lenin Moreno's government with the international body in 2019.



That $4.2 billion loan involved a raft of cuts and fiscal adjustments that led to a wave of protests in October 2019 when the government raised fuel prices.

© Agence France-Presse


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