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IMF Executive Board Approves EUR 176.53 Million in Financial Support for the Republic of North Macedonia

The IMF approved the disbursement of EUR 176.53 million in emergency financial assistance to North Macedonia to help it cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington, DC – April 11, 2020 (GNP):  The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a disbursement of SDR 140.3 million (about EUR 176.53 million, US$191.83 million, 100 percent quota) for the Republic of North Macedonia under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). This financial support will help finance the health and macroeconomic stabilization measures, meet the urgent balance of payments needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and catalyze support from the international community.

The RFI provides rapid financial assistance to member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need for a full-fledged economic program or reviews. Financial assistance under the RFI is provided in the form of immediate disbursements.

Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“North Macedonia’s economic outlook has deteriorated substantially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP is expected to decline by 4 percent in 2020 due to a fall in both domestic and external demand. This, together with negative shocks to confidence and spillovers from global financial channels, has created an urgent balance of payments need.

“The authorities quickly responded with targeted and temporary fiscal policy support to limit the social and economic impact of the health emergency by protecting the liquidity of companies, preserving jobs and providing social care for the jobless and vulnerable households. Meanwhile, the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia (NBRNM) has cut its monetary policy rate and implemented regulatory changes to encourage banks to restructure debts of high-quality borrowers affected by the pandemic. The Government and the NBRNM remain firmly committed to preserving monetary, external and financial sector stability, and stand ready to take any additional measures as needed.

“The authorities have also expressed their strong commitment, once the COVID-19 crisis is over, to rebuilding fiscal buffers and implementing the structural reform agenda to help preserve debt sustainability and speed up income convergence to European Union countries.

“The Fund stands ready to support North Macedonia to combat the pandemic and help the economy to recover.”