IMF in talks with Sri Lanka on funding

Friday, 17 April 2020

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to review the current funding program provided to Sri Lanka.

Director for the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF Chanyong Rhee said the IMF has commenced discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka on its Rapid Credit Facility program. Rhee mentioned this while responding to a question raised at the weekly press briefing on requests by Sri Lanka for debt relief or any special corona funds.

The IMF has received a letter from the Government of Sri Lanka on the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility in view of the global coronavirus outbreak. The IMF will commence its review of the program in terms of Sri Lanka, he said.

Rhee further said discussions are underway with the Government of Sri Lanka on whether it would like to switch to Rapid Credit Facility from its current funding program. He added that the discussion will continue this week.

Summarizing the effects on the Asia Pacific region, Rhee said the impact of the coronavirus on the region will be severe, across the board, and unprecedented. Asia’s growth rate in 2020 is expected to be 0 percent, and this is worse than the growth rate during the Global Financial Crisis and even during the Asian Financial Crisis, he pointed out.

Rhee said Asia has never experienced zero growth rate in the last 60 years, adding that Asia’s current growth still fares better than other regions.