The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament that government will rely on a mix of funds from the World Bank, IMF and withdrawals from the Stabilization Fund to finance the budgetary gap expected to be created by the fiscal impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Ghanaian economy.
According to him, this has become apparent as receipts from the petroleum industry, revenue from the tourism and aviation industries among others, have been projected to suffer a massive hit from the meltdown associated with the novel virus.
Addressing Parliament on the fiscal impact of the coronavirus, Ken Ofori-Atta said government will return to Parliament for the legal backing required to access the required funding to bridge the expected financing gap.
“The measures may include withdrawal from the Ghana Stabilization Fund occasioned by anticipated shortfalls in the ABFA. We will come to this august House to seek for the necessary approvals when it is necessary in due course,” he told Parliamentarians.
Mr. Ofori Atta added that, “We are currently in discussion with the World Bank to tap into a $12 billion fast tracked COVID-19 facility to help close the financing gap. In addition, we are discussing with the IMF to access part of the $10 billion facility made available by the Fund. We are also discussing with other multilateral and bilateral partners to nationals on potential assistance to close the financing gap.”
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has already indicated that Ghana’s Economic Management Team and the Finance Ministry, has carried out adequate assessment of the economic impact of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
BoG’s MPC meets from today to assess economic impact of COVID-19
Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee will from[Wednesday], March 18, 2020, meet to assess the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the domestic economy. This is to enable the regulator take the necessary steps to mitigate its impact and ensure financial and economic stability.
COVID-19 cases in Ghana so far
So far, Ghana has recorded seven cases of the COVID-19.
The government has earmarked US$100million to support the containment of the virus.
In addition, there have been some interim measures on social distancing to avoid a possible spread.
These include restriction of large gatherings for religious activities, conferences, schools and funerals among others.
Also, in bound travels from countries with 200 or more of the COVID-19 cases, have been halted temporarily as Ghana works to reduce the imported cases recorded so far.