IMF gives St. Lucia Emergency Financing of about US$8 Million

WASHINGTON, DC – Mr. Alfred Schipke, Mission Chief for St. Lucia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today:

“Understandings in principle have been reached on emergency financing of around US$8 million to help St. Lucia manage the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas that hit the island on October 30–31, 2010. Torrential rains caused landslides, resulting in human casualties and severe damages to road and water supply infrastructure, and agriculture. Some commercial and residential properties, including hotels, were also affected. The emergency financing is subject to approval by IMF Management and the Executive Board, which could consider the request in mid-January 2011.

“The authorities have embarked on a comprehensive strategy to provide support to those affected the most and to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, while maintaining macroeconomic stability.

Although the fiscal deficit will temporarily increase to accommodate increased spending, the authorities intend to keep commercial borrowing to a minimum by limiting the financing of the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort to available grants and concessional financing and are committed to ensuring medium term debt sustainability.

“The total emergency financing of SDR 5.36 million (US$8.20 million), which would consist of a disbursement of SDR 3.83 million (US$5.86 million) under the Fund’s Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and an SDR 1.53 million (US$2.34 million) purchase under the Fund’s Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance (ENDA), would be allocated to St. Lucia’s budget to support the authorities’ emergency response.

The funds are expected to play a catalytic role in mobilizing financial support from other international/regional financial institutions.

The emergency assistance also would come on top of the US$10.74 million provided under the IMF’s Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility approved in July 2009 to buffer the adverse impact of the global economic and financial crisis.”

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