IMF to decide on Grenada program in early May

St George’s, Grenada (GIS) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants to meet early next month to approve Grenada’s home grown structural adjustment program.

The IMF official who will be chairing the meeting has asked Grenada’s permanent secretary in the ministry of finance, Timothy Antoine, to work with his team for a meeting in early May.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, just back from talks with the IMF and World Bank in Washington, welcomed the news, saying government is eager to see resources start flowing before the end of May.

“He did ask Timothy to work with his team to look for a date, early, most likely in May. We were hearing, before that, they were talking about the end of May. But we were a bit nervous about that because we wanted to see the resources start flowing before the end of May,” Mitchell explained.

“From all indications now it looks like we will be up and running sometime early in May, which is an excellent thing for the country as a whole, because given the fact that we know people are hurting in every respect we want to start delivering on some of the programmes as early as possible,” he continued.

Grenada will receive US$21.9 million as part of a three-year program.

Mitchell has described his meeting as a success and said all of the IMF directors applauded Grenada’s bold program.

“I consider the meeting highly successful because basically we were trying to finalize the date of start for the implementation of the programme as far as their side is concerned and the need for the board to meet to conclude on the homegrown program as far as their support,” Mitchell said.

“I am more than pleased with the results in the sense that the directors of the IMF that we met, all expressed tremendous support for Grenada’s homegrown program and the fact that we have started implementing some of it and they indicated that they felt we were courageous in what we were doing and because of this they were behind us 100 percent,” he added.

The IMF deal will unlock at least another US$100 million in soft loans and grant funding, including US$30 million each from the World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank and indeterminate grant aid from the European Union.

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