THE Tanzanian government’s efforts to fight Covid-19 and the economic recovery plans have impressed the IMF, which says Tanzania deserved the recently approved loan from the fund. IMF Resident Representative, Jens Reinke made the remarks on Friday during a press conference organised by the Finance and Planning Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba on how the government will spend the $567.3 million released early this month.
Reinke said as part of the Covid-related rapid arrangements, borrowing countries have committed to undertake governance measures to promote accountable and transparent use of these resources. He said the government has shown commitment for economic recovery, following the Covid-19 pandemic seeing a bright future. Nchemba said the fund will effectively be spent to enable the country cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, following collapse of the tourism sector.
The Fund approval was 100 percent of the country quota under two facilities – Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) amounting to $189.1 million and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) covering the remaining $378.2 – to help finance the urgent balance of payment needs, stemming from the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. The disbursement under the RCF and purchase under the RFI will help finance the interventions needed to mitigate the severe socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and help catalyse support from development partners.
The minister said the loan will be spent in the 2021/2022 fiscal year in revamping the mostly hit sectors of the national economy like education, tourism, health, water as well as supporting the poor households through the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF). Others include empowering groups of youth, women and people with disabilities and some part of the money will be spent in Zanzibar for similar purpose.
The minister mentioned some priority areas including reducing congestion in schools by improving education infrastructures, improving health services by increasing vaccine services and ensuring availability of drugs and equipment for Covid-19 treatment. The loan will also help put in place flowing water equipment at places with big groups of people. The minister said the ministry and IMF signed a special agreement on the best way to spend the money in a manner that will end deaths and the spread of Covid-19 among Tanzanians as well as social development.
Nchemba urged the sectors that will benefit from the fund to ensure they are spent as per the agreement with IMF and in line with Tanzania Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery and Response Plan (TCRP).