IMF Approves Stand-by Arrangement for Antigua and Barbuda

St John, Antigua – “With this development, I am even more confident that we will come out of the global recession stronger, as we place the country firmly on the path to sound economic growth and development.” These were the words of Antigua’s Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell, upon hearing that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund had approved Antigua and Barbuda’s application for a Stand-By Arrangement. The IMF announced the decision following its June 7 Executive Board meeting.

Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell

This final stage of the approval process clears the way for the first disbursement to Antigua and Barbuda’s Fund-Assisted Fiscal Consolidation Programme (FCP). The FCP is one of the pillars of the government’s National Economic and Social Transformation (NEST) Plan, which was developed to address the challenges associated with the global economic downturn.

The Agreement with the IMF renders financial assistance to Antigua and Barbuda in the amount of USD117.8m* over three years, provided a number of mutually agreed fiscal targets are met. The Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) has been assisting with the customs, revenue and treasury reforms that would facilitate prudent management of the country’s financial resources. Technical and financial assistance have also been forthcoming from the European Union and the British Department for International Development.

The Paris Club group of creditors is also expected to support the FCP by providing some debt relief when the government presents the Club with its debt strategy later this year.

“I wish to thank the Prime Minister and my Cabinet colleagues for their ongoing support,” said Minister Lovell, “and to once again express my gratitude to the patriotic, dedicated group of technicians at the ministry, who made all this possible. We have convinced the international community that we are committed to this process, and now we need the full support of the people of Antigua and Barbuda to ensure the restoration of our country’s credibility.”

Related Articles

Back to top button