IMF backs Barbados recovery with $49m

10 Sep 18

An IMF team has agreed to help support the economic recovery of Barbados, with an initial injection of $49m.

This was a “vote of confidence” in the government of Bardados’ recovery plan, a staff delegation from the fund stated.

Bert Van Selm, head of the IMF team, said in a statement on Friday: “The authorities’ reform program, and the important commitment of IMF resources that it entails, is a vote of confidence in Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan.

“The cornerstone of the program is a strong front-loaded fiscal adjustment focused on curbing current expenditure, while maintaining space for bolstering social safety nets and infrastructure spending.”

The Barbados government asked for the IMF to visit in order to discuss financial support, and a team from the organisation did so from 30 August to 7 September.

Selm recognised that the Barbadian economy had been “caught in a cycle of low growth, widening fiscal deficits and increasing debt.”

International reserves in the country were now well below “adequacy levels”, dropping to US$240 million, the IMF team concluded, and central government debt had become “unsustainable”.

The IMF’s executive board must still approve the financial support package and is expected to do so in early October.

A new government came to power in Barbados in May this year, and it has been working quickly to find ways of improving the economy.

Barbados’s economic recovery plan is aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and ensuring the country is able to resist financial shocks.

It is also hoped that the plan will make the economy stronger, more sustainable and will promote inclusive growth.


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