Sierra Leone Secures USD143mn from IMF to Support COVID-19 Response

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The COVID‑19 pandemic puts Sierra Leone’s population at risk and is a serious blow to the economy, which has just started to recover. The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly, threatening the fragile health system. The drop in external demand and essential measures to contain the spread of the virus are sharply curtailing economic activity,” IMF Managing Director Tao Zhang said in a statement.
There are around 900 confirmed coronavirus cases in Sierra Leone, though it is widely understood that insufficient testing and low access to healthcare facilities means the figure is likely far higher, threatening the prospect of a longer-term crisis reminiscent of the 2014 Ebola outbreak – which decimated the country’s economy for nearly two years.
The country entered the pandemic on fragile footing. Government authorities in conjunction with the central bank last month unveiled a SLL15tn (approx. USD1.5bn) stimulus plan, to be rolled out over the next five years, which will be put towards modernising the agribusiness sector and cooking oils production.

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