The IMF expects the military to disburse recently provided funds to the government according to the guidelines previously agreed upon for humanitarian and Covid-relief, Fund spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday in Washington, DC (January 4).
“We are, of course, very concerned about the impact of recent events and what they could have on the people of Myanmar,” said Rice at an online briefing with news media.
The Fund transferred about $350 million in emergency coronavirus financing to Myanmar days before the coup last week, as part of a long-standing support package for Myanmar.
“We’re watching it very closely, of course, like the rest of the world. Just to remind you that, of course, Myanmar faced large economic and social costs as a result of the pandemic. And the IMF resources are our support to help the people of Myanmar to meet these urgent humanitarian needs. That was that was the whole purpose,” added Rice.
Rice reiterated that the IMF has been working to support countries facing an unprecedented crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but expected all recipients to use the money for its intended purposes, and that there would be safeguards such as requirements for audits and transparency on how the money is spent.
“Again, just to set in context, the approval of this support was back in January by our Board and followed all standard procedures for this kind of emergency financing, the same as we have been, we’ve done for another eighty four countries in this in this crisis. And standard safeguards in place regarding the resources, including the repayment schedule. And as I think you know, the IMF record over 75 years on repayment and safeguarding of the IMF resources is very clear,” Rice concluded.
Rice also added that the IMF has not been in contact with the military or its newly installed government.