The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved Mongolia’s request for emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) equivalent to SDR 72.3 million (about US$99 million, or 100 percent of quota) to meet urgent budgetary and balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of COVID-19 and to support the most affected sectors and vulnerable groups.
Following the Executive Board’s discussion of Mongolia, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Chair, made the following statement:
“Mongolia has successfully avoided a domestic outbreak of COVID-19 thus far, helped by the early introduction of social distancing and tight health protocols for cross-border flows. Nonetheless, the pandemic has sharply reduced economic activity due to both the economic cost of the containment measures and the fall in external demand. There is now an urgent balance of payments need and a fiscal financing gap.
“The authorities have already taken a number of measures to limit the economic contraction and help the most vulnerable. Recent revisions to the budget allow for higher health and social spending as well as tax relief to affected households and businesses. In addition, the Bank of Mongolia has eased monetary and financial policies to help prevent a disorderly contraction in bank lending to the private sector.
“Emergency financing under the IMF’s RFI will provide much needed support to respond to the urgent balance of payments and budgetary needs. Additional assistance from development partners will be required to support the authorities’ efforts and close the financing gap. The authorities’ commitment to high standards of transparency and governance in the management of financial assistance is welcome.
“As the immediate threat to the economy subsides, it will be critical to resume key reforms begun during the recent Extended Fund Facility arrangement. These include a return to fiscal consolidation to reduce still high public debt, a more flexible exchange rate to build up foreign exchange reserves, remedying AML-CFT deficiencies, and stronger supervisory enforcement to ensure that all banks have sufficient capital.” (IMF)