The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has approved the disbursement of Ksh.78.3 billion ($739 million) in emergency funding to Kenya on Wednesday boosting the country’s responsiveness to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the authorities have taken decisive action to respond to the pandemic’s health and economic impacts, the sudden shock has left Kenya with significant fiscal and external financing needs,” the IMF noted in a statement.
“Authorities have committed to resume their fiscal consolidation plans once the crisis abates to reduce debt vulnerabilities.”
The disbursement is marginally shy of Ksh.79.5 billion ($750 million) in expected flows from the multilateral lender by the government of Kenya which is further expectant of Ksh.106 billion ($1 billion) in new flows from the World Bank development policy operations (DPO).
New funding from the IMF is expected to support government liquidity amidst shocks to its funding of the current account including a slack in Forex earnings from lower exports and tourism.
In addition to injecting emergency liquidity, the IMF funds are expected to strengthen the country’s usable foreign currency reserves providing further cushioning to the shilling.