Guest Contributor | Apr 16, 2021 | 0
Namibia approaches IMF for emergency COVID-19 loan
Namibia has applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loan through the institution’s rapid financing instrument.
This was confirmed by the Finance Ministry spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu, who said the amount requested for can only be revealed once the application is approved based on Namibia’s Special Drawing Rights at IMF.
“Yes I can confirm, We submitted an application to IMF last week. We will asses the terms and conditions to see if they are favourable to Namibia,” he told the Namibia Economist.
The loan has been requested to address the impact of COVID-19 in Namibia with the country finding more and more cases each day.
The loan application has been heavily contested by the official opposition party, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), who in a press statement on 30 July said the government “felt compelled also to try and tap this source” after South Africa’s successful application for US$4.3 billion from the IMF to fight the Covid-19 in the country.
“What does the government need the money for. Its only direct COVID-19 expense so far was the N$750 cash payout to everybody who registered. All other expenses have been covered by donations, grants and private sector contributions. In total this funding is now approaching N$800 million and has covered all the expenses in facilities, medicine, personal protection gear and food security,” PDM Treasury-General Nico Smith said.
Smith further said if the IMF grants Namibia’s loan application, “that money will just disappear in the state’s bottomless pit created by years of financial mismanagement. It will not help protect any Namibian against COVID-19 infection and it is very doubtful whether those infected will ever see a cent of the money.”