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Economy & Business - May 2020

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

BOLIVIA | IMF returns. On 20 April, Bolivia’s economy minister José Luis Parada revealed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had granted the interim government a US$320m loan, to help finance its response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This is the IMF’s first involvement in Bolivia since 2005, after the organisation was boycotted by former president Evo Morales (2006-2019), who blamed its structural adjustment programmes for growing inequality and the privatisation of natural resources in Bolivia through the 1990s and early 2000s. Parada insisted that there are “no preconditions” for this emergency loan, although an IMF statement claimed that the interim government had pledged “to reach a sustainable fiscal deficit in the medium term”, in exchange for IMF support. Bolivia has also secured emergency credit from the World Bank, which announced a US$170m loan for the country on 8 May. World Bank regional director, Marianne Fay, said that the funding was intended “to protect the most vulnerable populations”.

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