Come clean on Covid or you won’t get our cash, IMF tells Tanzania

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Come clean on Covid or you won’t get our cash, IMF tells Tanzania

Tanzanian government has asked the IMF for emergency funding, after late president Magufuli had played down the pandemic

Matthew Hill and Fumbuka Ng'Wanakilala

Tanzania needs to publish data on the spread of Covid-19 before getting approval for a $574m (R7.8bn) emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund, the Washington-based lender said.

Reporting numbers on coronavirus infections and deaths would be an about turn for the government that hasn’t done so since May last year, when then president John Magufuli’s administration played down the threat from the disease. Since his death in March, new leader Samia Hassan has signalled a shift in policy by appointing an advisory team on how to tackle the pandemic and starting a process to procure vaccines. The government hasn’t yet given numbers on the disease, though.

“Publication of such data would be a precondition of moving ahead,” said Jens Reinke, the IMF’s resident representative in Tanzania. “To justify emergency financing in the context of the pandemic, you need to publish relevant public health data.”..

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