#National News

‘D500m covid-19 fund ready for disbursement’

Apr 8, 2020, 2:43 PM

The minister of Finance and Economic Affairs has informed deputies that the D500 million Emergency Fund designed to help contain the spread of covid-19 is available and ready for disbursement.

Mambury Njie was responding to lawmakers on Friday during the debate on the extension of the 90-day state of emergency, proposed by the government to battle the spread of covid-19 pandemic in The Gambia.

He, however, made it clear that the entire D500 million is for health and the committee will be looking at how to do the disbursement.

 “It is demand driven and there is below the line account. Right now, before the D500 million, we have disbursed D12 million. They have only spent D11 million”.

He added: “And now there is a request in the ministry for D60 million, this includes the payment of hotels and some imprest for some regional health teams. That is D100,000 for each of them and we are also making sure that all the procurement, internal auditing, verification is done. As at now, they have not even touch the D500 million”.

He also told lawmakers they are managing within the D21 billion allocated in the national budget by Assembly. We don’t want to expand and we also want to contain the inflation, fiscal deficit.”


He said that the economy is a small vulnerable one and whatever they do, they make sure that fiscal discipline is adhered to.

He further clarified: “In the event we need to give any compensation package to the vulnerable, out of the total Gambian households 280, 659, we said if you have to do everything rice, oil and D1000 for each household, it will cost us D800 million, if we do 50 percent of the household, it will cost us D400 million. If we do 40 percent, it is D320 million and if we do 30 percent, it will cost us D240 million”.

“The 10 million United States dollars that is being rumored is D590 million. I have just signed it today. It is not coming to us, the World Bank will be working closely with health team to make sure that all the procurement and everything that is agreed here is properly executed”.

He emphasised the D500 million approved by the Barrow administration is available.
“The total committed fund is D512 million. Out of this, we have already disbursed D12 Million, but up to today, there is no single money coming from any donor”.

He continued: “We do have access to facilities at the IMF, but we are not using it now. The initial quota we have is about US$21 million, that they will give us for five years interest free and everything that will help us at least cushion the exogenous shocks.”

Additional source Foroyaa Newspaper

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