A number of countries, including Jamaica, have received loans from the IMF at significantly low interest rates. Belize is on a lengthy waiting list for a loan of thirty-eight million U.S. dollars from the International Monetary Fund for COVID relief. The application was filed sometime in May and while government remains optimistic that it will receive those monies, it stands in line behind eighty-seven other countries. That means that financial assistance from the IMF will be slow to come by, despite the present economic crunch that the country is experiencing. Belize was late in capitalizing on what is known as a rapid financing instrument being offered by IMF. Financial Secretary Joe Waight says that government has sought the maximum under its quota.

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

ďWe have approached the IMF for what we call a loan, itís a small low interest loan under one of the facilities that they have called a rapid financing instrument. That is tied to the quota of the country and I will come back to that in a moment. Itís a short-term low interest loan with few conditions. That application went in last month sometime, but it terms out that we are like number eighty-six or eighty-seven in line, everybody else had applied and they told us that itís going to take some time. So yes, we have applied and itís likely that itís going to take some time. Weíre hoping for an approval, it should be straightforward, I think, and the amount of the loan will depend on the size of our quota. Our quota is roughly thirty-eight or so, itís measured in special drawing rights, SDR, but converted to real money itís about thirty-eight million U.S. dollars. That is the maximum we can borrow and weíve asked for the maximum but it all depends. Yes, our application is in, they have told us that itís going to take some time, theyíre working through it. Of course there is no guarantee until we have it in hand, but yes we have applied and itís going to take some time.Ē

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