IMF unlocks US$866 million for Jamaica to tackle shocks, climate change
(FILES) A logo is seen outside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund June 30, 2015 in Washington, DC. The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) executive board on August 23, 2023 has approved a disbursement of around $7.5 billion for Argentina, a spokesperson for economy minister Sergio Massa told AFP, as the South American country grapples with a prolonged economic crisis.Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

WASHINGTON, United States, (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) executive board approved the disbursement of around US$866 million for Jamaica on Thursday as part of two loan programmes designed to strengthen the country’s economy against multiple shocks.

"Important progress has been made on the fiscal reform agenda," IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Monsio Sayeh said in a statement announcing the completion of the first review into the agreements signed in March.

That progress includes reform of the Caribbean nation's public wage structure and improvements to its fiscal policy framework.

Jamaica's economy has bounced back following a challenging period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IMF said in March it expects the country's real GDP growth reached around four percent last year, but warned of risks ahead from a range of factors, including the lingering impact of the war in Ukraine.

On Thursday, the IMF board made available around US$611 million under an agreement it has previously said is designed "to provide insurance against risks from higher commodity prices, a global slowdown, tighter-than-envisaged global financial conditions, and new COVID outbreaks."

A further US$255 million was made available Thursday under a second loan agreement aimed at strengthening Jamaica's resilience to climate change and better-preparing it for decarbonisation and the transition to a greener economy.

The Jamaican authorities have been "advancing their ambitious climate policy agenda to increase resilience to climate change and green the economy," Sayeh said.

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