The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and plummeting oil prices and global demand were having a devastating effect on Ecuador, one of the largest oil exporters in Latin America said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.


The IMF said the emergency aid would help Ecuador finance much-needed health and social assistance spending, while helping to catalyze additional resources from other multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank.


Ecuador has been among the hardest-hit countries in Latin America by the coronavirus, with 24,934 confirmed cases and 900 deaths, plus a further 1,357 deaths that were likely caused by the virus.


Ecuadorean authorities have taken decisive action to contain the virus and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the health crisis on households and firms while prioritizing efforts to protect the poor and vulnerable, the IMF said.


Austerity measures imposed on April 16 by President Lenin Moreno have sparked fears of further social instability following a wave of street protests that erupted last October after Moreno decided to end a fuel subsidy.


Source: WASHINGTON (Reuters)