IMF lends 51.6 million euros to Kosovo to address virus crisis

A medical worker stands in front of ambulance for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pristina

PRISTINA (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund has approved a 51.6 million euro ($56.06 million) loan for Kosovo to tackle the economic crisis caused by the new coronavirus and address urgent balance of payments issues, the international lender said.

It said the pandemic will hit Kosovo’s economy hard.

“The economy is expected to contract by 5% in 2020 as tourism receipts, remittances, exports of goods, and FDI will decrease due to travel restrictions and the effect of COVID-19 in trading partners and remittance-originating countries,” the IMF said in a statement.

The small Balkan country had expected to see economic growth of around 4% this year.

The government said it will inject some 180 million euros into the roughly 8-billion-euro economy to help the private sector cope with the crisis.

As of late on Friday some 250 people were infected with the coronavirus in Kosovo, including seven deaths.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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