IMF Approves $1.7B for Jamaica as Protection from Inflation, Climate Change

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March 2 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday approved over $1.7 billion in funds for Jamaica to help it insure against higher inflation, tighter fiscal conditions, possible COVID outbreaks and climate change.

The IMF said in a statement its executive board had approved Jamaica’s request for some $968 million under a Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) deal and about $764 million under the newly created Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF).

Though the pandemic struck a blow to the Caribbean island country’s critical tourism industry, the IMF said tourism had bounced back, adding that public debt was also declining and high inflation had been receding since mid-2022.

Real GDP growth for 2022 is expected at around 4%, the lender said. Its forecasts are in line with those reported in February following a visit by the IMF executive board.

While the IMF praised Jamaica’s fiscal policies and has forecast that Jamaican inflation should fall back to the central bank’s target by the end of this year, it said the economy is facing “significant external risks.”

The PLL, a two-year arrangement, is set to help Jamaica buffer its economy against global financial risks, such as high commodity prices, surging borrowing costs and a global slowdown, as well as possible new COVID-19 outbreaks, it said.e

The RSF, it added, is expected to incentivize renewable energy, develop green financial instruments and manage climate risks in the country’s financial sector.

Reporting by Sarah Morland and Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle
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