$160m top-up

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The foreign reserves are getting a US$80 million (BDS$160 million) boost as Barbados braces for the economic fallout expected from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment Marsha Caddle announced that a policy-based loan (PBL) of that amount had been approved by the Inter-American Development Bank’s board of directors for the Barbados Sustainable Development Policy Programme.

Caddle said the financing was coming at the right time, noting that “the US$80 million loan further builds our war chest of foreign exchange reserves against COVID-19, as we turn our response first to safeguarding lives and then to addressing economic impact.

“As a result of this long-term, low interest-loan, gross reserves will rise to over $1.7 billion, the highest level of foreign exchange reserves held at the Central Bank ever in Barbados’ history, but we continue to build our reserves to match the scale of the global challenges we face,” she added. (SC)

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