COVID-19 Crisis: Belarus Will Receive Financial Support From IMF, EU And U.S.

The Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) are in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on financial support in the amount of $900 million.

According to the press release, the funds will be used to fight the challenges the country’s economy faces due to the deterioration of the global economic situation and the coronavirus pandemic.

Help from the IMF

The parties are discussing the use of the Financing Instrument (RFI). It provides rapid financial assistance, which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need.

Earlier the IMF stated that in view of the drastic deterioration of the global economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it will provide up to $40 billion to the states with an average level of income.

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Depending on the terms of access to RFI, Belarus may claim about $900 million. The IMF claimed that nearly 80 countries requested their help and it will massively step up emergency finance.

“These are extraordinary circumstances. Many countries are already taking unprecedented measures. We at the IMF, working with all our member countries, will do the same. Let us stand together through this emergency to support all people across the world,” said IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva on 23 March.

Help from the EU

As part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission will reallocate €140 million for the most immediate needs stands of Eastern partner countries.

These are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.

In addition, it will also redirect the use of existing instruments worth up to €700 million to help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Help from the U.S.

The U.S. government and  USAID will provide nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help countries fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belarus will receive $1,3 million in health funding to:

  • help prepare laboratory systems,
  • activate case-finding and event-based surveillance,
  • support technical experts for response and preparedness,
  • bolster risk communication.

“This new assistance comes on top of decades of U.S. investment in Belarus, including nearly $1.5 million in health alone and more than $301 million in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years,” the U.S. Department of State reports.