COVID-19 Funds: Int’l financial bodies likely awaiting new Gov’t

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Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force Moses Nagamootoo believes that financial assistance from international financial institutions are being withheld until a new Government is in place.

Responding to questions about requests to various lending agencies for monies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual press conference on Thursday, Nagamootoo said a few of the requests are being processed.

However, he said, “I believe that also, because of the political situation in Guyana while we are in transition to a Government that will emerge after March 2nd 2020 elections.

“We cannot for sure say whether some of these international multilateral lending agencies are going to be dealing with Guyana’s applications any time soon.

“…They probably would want to sit it out and wait until the President is sworn in.”

Guyana had requested US$5M from the World Bank in March to aid in its fight against the new Coronavirus; it has also engaged the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and other institutions.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo (file photo)

According to Nagamootoo, in the interim, the Government will basically redirect funds from other projects valuing $80M to fight COVID-19.

“We have an ongoing relationship with the IADB for a number of projects which will be reconfigured to be COVID-19 related projects. I am told that this will be just under $80M.”

The Government is also hoping to tap into funding from the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) to assist in Agriculture production, the US$14M grant offered by the Indian Government to Caribbean nations and others.

“These can be converted to short term use…” Nagamootoo said.

The Chinese Government has offered masks and medical equipment.

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