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The Government’s stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not only released critical funds, but has also resulted in opportunities for Jamaica to receive financial aid from other multi-lateral institutions.
“The European Commission, the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank.all of them combined, the windows were closed for us, but once the IMF agreement was opened, the flows have begun,” Mr. Shaw said, noting that just last week the Government signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for US$170 million at 1.23 per cent interest rate.
On Wednesday (February 24), the Finance Minister will travel to Washington D.C to sign loan agreements with the World Bank totaling US$200 million, and three education-support related agreements with the IDB.
“Between those two institutions, by Friday, we will have in our accounts a total of US$415 million from the World Bank and the IDB, in addition to the $640 million (already disbursed) from the IMF,” Mr. Shaw outlined.
He was speaking Tuesday (February 23) at the Ministry, National Heroes’ Circle, Kingston during the signing ceremony for a Euro$17 million (J$2.2 billion) budgetary support grant from the European Union (EU), under the 2009 Fluctuation in Export (FLEX) earnings facility .
Head of delegation of the European Commission, Ambassador Marco Mazzochi- Alemanni, congratulated the Government for concluding “an extremely important agreement with the IMF.”
“This turns a new page for your country. You are now facing up to some structural problems and you can rest assured that the European Union is behind you,” Mr. Alemanni said.
He noted that the EU’s general budget support programme to Jamaica was similar to the IMF agreement, noting that some of the targets would have been very difficult to reach without assistance, such as that which is being provided by the IMF facility.