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IMF to help Georgia overcome coronavirus crisis

Business Materials 18 March 2020 18:23 (UTC +04:00)
IMF to help Georgia overcome coronavirus crisis

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 18

By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to help Georgia overcome coronavirus crisis, said IMF Resident Representative in Georgia Selim Cakir, Trend reports citing Georgian media.

Meanwhile, Georgia asked IMF to increase the funding for Georgia in the framework of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program to use the additional funds to combat coronavirus crisis. This program was extended by one year in December 2019 until April 2021.

Cakir noted that the IMF and Georgia are working together to assess the economic shock resulting from the new coronavirus and offset its negative economic impact of the pandemic.

"IMF welcomes the authorities timely and decisive actions in monitoring, containing and mitigating the effects of the coronavirus the number one priority in terms of fiscal response is ensuring front line health related spending to protect people’s well-being, taking care of the sick and slowing the spread of the virus,” said Cakir.

Georgian Finance Minister Ivane Machavariani noted that the virus outbreak will mostly hit tourism industry and it will also affect the Georgian economy which heavily depends on tourism.

"A global decrease in oil prices will have a negative effect on the Georgian economy. The Georgian government and the National Bank of Georgia will use all financial instruments to mitigate the effect of economic challenges due to coronavirus," he said.

Matchavariani added that besides the IMF, Georgia is negotiating with other financial institutions to obtain funding to offset negative effects of the virus on Georgian economy.

As of today, Georgia has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Amid the new coronavirus outbreak, Georgia has suspended direct flights with China, Iran and Italy, which are currently the largest centers of the outbreak.

The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The symptoms include cough, headache, fatigue, fever, aching and difficulty breathing. It is primarily spread through airborne contact or contact with contaminated objects.

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