By Ebi Kesiena
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved $567m in emergency support for Tanzania, to help it finance a COVID-19 vaccination campaign and meet the health and social costs of the pandemic.
A statement from IMF’s Executive board noted that the board has approved the disbursement of $189m to Tanzania under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), as well as $378m under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).
According to the global lender, the new funding will allow Tanzanian officials to address the urgent health, humanitarian, and economic costs of the pandemic, adding that it will also help Tanzanian officials mobilise additional support from development partners.
The COVID-19 outbreak and associated travel restrictions have led to the collapse of the tourism sector in the East African country, which had denied the existence of the pandemic under the late President John Magufuli.
After his death in March and the takeover by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania has started acknowledging the crisis, which caused a major deceleration to 4.8 percent growth in 2020, with growth to remain subdued in 2021.