IMF approves $6.72m ECF for The Gambia

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved SDR 5 million, about $6.72 million to The Gambia to help meet the country’s balance-of payments and fiscal financing needs, support the post-pandemic recovery, and address challenges from the war in Ukraine.

This follows the Executive Board of the IMF completion of the fourth review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

This brings total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to SDR 45 million.

The Board also completed a financing assurances review and granted a waiver of nonobservance of a performance criterion on the ceiling on the net domestic borrowing of the central government.

The ECF arrangement for The Gambia was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on March 23, 2020, with an initial total access of SDR 35 million (or 56.3% of quota) that was augmented to SDR 55 million (88.4% of quota) at the time of the completion of the first review under the ECF, on January 15, 2021. The Gambia has also benefited from an IMF Rapid Credit Facility disbursement of SDR 15.55 million approved on April 15, 2020 and received debt service relief from the IMF under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, totaling SDR 7.9 million.

The Gambia’s economic growth is estimated at 4.3% in 2021 despite the various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Growth is projected to reach 5.6% in 2022, predicated on strong remittance inflows, a robust expansion of the construction sector, and large public investment projects.

The repercussions of the war in Ukraine intensify inflationary pressures, exacerbate pandemic-related uncertainties, dampen tourism prospects, and disrupt the supply of food and agricultural inputs.

The central bank took initial measures to contain inflationary pressures, as inflation reached 117% at end-April 2022. The authorities are advancing reforms on several fronts, including the transparency of COVID-19 spending, the institutional framework of State-Owned Enterprises, revenue administration, and public financial management.