BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 06, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, under the leadership of the Team Unity administration, has been commended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its strong management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMF, in its Staff Concluding Statement of the 2021 Article IV Mission published today, Tuesday, July 06, stated that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on St. Kitts and Nevis’ tourism-dependent economy has been severe, “despite timely government actions that kept domestic infections in 2020 the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.”
The report further stated, “At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the government swiftly restricted inbound travel, introduced safety protocols including a month-long national lockdown, and procured protective and medical equipment. The subsequent reopening of borders from end-October 2020 has been accompanied by strict safety protocols. The response measures effectively mitigated the pandemic’s human cost with St. Kitts and Nevis having had the lowest per capita case count in the Western Hemisphere and no mortalities in 2020.”
The IMF team noted however that the pandemic’s impact on the Federation’s economy has been severe with the complete halt in cruise ship arrivals and very few stayover tourists since the first quarter of 2020, compounded by the pandemic’s disruptions on domestic activity.
The Concluding Statement of the 2021 Article IV Mission added, “In response, the government introduced tax waivers, deferrals and incentives, and the Social Security Board provided unemployment benefits to affected insured workers. In parallel, the regional and national financial supervisors swiftly introduced temporary response measures, including loan moratoria, that supported liquidity and effectively mitigated the pandemic’s financial system impact.”
The Concluding Statement describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit or mission.
The virtual 2021 Article IV mission for St. Kitts and Nevis was concluded on June 22, 2021.