By Omar Bah
The Minister of Finance, Mambury Njie, has said that The Gambia Government has not yet received a single dalasi from the International Monetary Fund’s approved Covid-19 support.
“Not a single dollar has reached the shores of The Gambia. Yes, it is true that the IMF did approve finance for balance of payment support of $47.1M. This is specifically for the argumentation of our reserve in case we have a deficit. That means those funds will not be remitted to the coffers of the government,” Minister Njie told journalists last Friday.
He said the US$21.3 million IMF rapid credit facilities are the only approved funds coming directly to government coffers.
“[They] will be sent to the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) and the CBG will denominate it into dalasi and it would be unlend to the government…but all of these funds up to this morning didn’t reach the shores of The Gambia. They have been approved but not yet disbursed. It is in the process,” he explained.
He said a committee comprising representatives of the ministries of health and finance has been established to monitor the Covid-19 response.
Minister Njie said his ministry will recommend “a very good package” that will ease the pressure on businesses in the country.
“The president has instructed us to do all we can to ensure that we reach out to all Gambians who need government’s support, especially the vulnerable,” he added.
He said the government has already spent D143.3 million to pay for accommodation and food for the patients and purchase of various medical consumables.
“The balance as of now out of the D500 million [provided by the government] is D368.7 million and up to this morning every dalasi or butut spent on Covid-19 is from our local funds,” he added.