WASHINGTON, May 13 ― Authorities in Chile have asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a flexible line of credit of around US$23.8 billion (RM103.3 billion) over two years, the Washington-based institution said in a statement yesterday.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva intends to recommend approval of the request due to Chile's “very strong economic fundamentals, institutional policy frameworks, and track record,” it said.
A mass protest movement against Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and his government erupted last October, but has recently been tempered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Chilean authorities intend to treat the credit line as precautionary,” the IMF said.
“This credit line helps safeguard against external shocks by providing countries with very strong policy frameworks and track records of economic performance with large, upfront access to IMF resources.”
Chile last week ordered strict new quarantine measures on three districts in the capital Santiago after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.
Curfews and quarantines imposed as part of measures against the pandemic have largely calmed months of protests initially triggered by a modest rise in metro fares in Santiago.
The IMF has warned that the economic downturn due to the pandemic could hit countries such as Chile with “new protests, particularly if policy actions to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis are perceived as insufficient or as unfairly favoring large corporates rather than people.” ― AFP