IMF rules out COVID-19 loan to Venezuela

IMF rules out COVID-19 loan to Venezuela
  • Clock-gray 20:29
  • calendar-gray 18 March 2020

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected Venezuela's request for a $5-billion loan to fight the coronavirus pandemic, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

In a statement, the IMF said the request could not be evaluated because there was "no clarity" among its member states on who was the leader of the South American nation: the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro or U.S.-backed lawmaker Juan Guaido.

"Unfortunately, the Fund is not in a position to consider this request [...] There is no clarity on recognition at this time," said the statement.

Maduro's government requested a $5-billion loan from the IMF to help deal with the novel coronavirus in Venezuela, where 33 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far.

"We come up to your honorable organism to request your assessment, regarding the possibility of granting Venezuela a financing facility for $5 billion from the Emergency Fund of the Rapid Financing Instrument (IFR), resources that will contribute significantly to strengthen our detection and response system" reads the letter signed by Maduro.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza published the letter on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

"President Nicolas Maduro has formally requested financing for $5 million to the International Monetary Fund to strengthen the response capacity of our health system during the Covid-19 contingency. Another timely action to protect the people," Arreaza wrote.

Guaido has not yet spoken on the issue or requested aid from the world organizations to help Venezuelan people fight the pandemic amid crippling U.S. sanctions.

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