Morocco draws on IMF credit line to support virus hit economy

Seagulls fly around an empty corniche during a state of emergency and home confinement orders due to coronavirus, in Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (AP Photo)
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Updated 08 April 2020

Morocco draws on IMF credit line to support virus hit economy

  • Morocco to draw on a $3-billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offset a contraction of its economy because of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Morocco has imposed a lockdown to combat the coronavirus, which has claimed 91 lives in the North African country from a declared total of more than 1,200 cases

RABAT: Morocco on Wednesday announced it has started to draw on a $3-billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offset a contraction of its economy because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The five-year loan has a grace period of three years, the Moroccan central bank said.
It said the credit line would help “soften the impact of the (coronavirus) crisis on our economy and maintain our exchange reserves at an adequate level.”
The credit would be used “mainly to finance the balance of payments and will not impact public debt, in a first for our transactions with the IMF,” the central bank said.
The Washington-based IMF, in a statement, said Rabat would “use funds purchased under the PLL (Precautionary and Liquidity Line) to cope with the social and economic impact of COVID-19 and to maintain strong external buffers in a context of heightened uncertainties.”
Morocco has imposed a lockdown to combat the coronavirus, which has claimed 91 lives in the North African country from a declared total of more than 1,200 cases of COVID-19.
The state planning commission forecast Wednesday that Morocco’s economy will contract 1.8 percent in the second quarter, in a context where further pressure is being exerted by a drought in the agriculture sector.
Apart from instructing people to self-isolate, like many countries around the world, Morocco has adopted economic and social measures to assist companies, workers and those dependent on social services.
State aid of between 800 and 1,200 dirhams ($80 to $120) is to be allocated for needy families to weather the crisis, from an emergency package also funded by corporate and private donations.


Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

Updated 04 June 2020

Emirates, Etihad to resume transit flights after UAE lifts suspension

  • The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers
  • Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency

DUBAI: Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume some transit flights after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted a suspension on services where passengers stop off in the country to change planes, or for refuelling.
Dubai's Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines, said on Thursday it would operate transit flights to 29 destinations in Asia, Europe and North America by June 15.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad, meanwhile, said it would carry transit passengers to 20 cities in Europe, Asia and Australia from June 10.
The suspension was lifted late on Wednesday for UAE carriers, more than two months after the Gulf Arab state halted all passenger flights in March as it introduced drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
It has since allowed a few, limited flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres have been lifted.
Foreign citizens remain banned from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who require UAE government approval before returning.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has seen countries around the world shut their borders as they went into lockdown, has decimated the global airline industry as demand was crushed.
Many countries continue to enforce tight entry restrictions, including some countries banning foreign visitors. Airlines around the world have warned it will take years for travel demand to recover.