FACTBOX 6/23/20: Latin America moves to mitigate impact of COVID-19

FACTBOX 6/23/20: Latin America moves to mitigate impact of COVID-19

Economy & Policy Coronavirus Latin America Regions

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Latin American governments, their central banks, and international financial institutions have taken action to blunt the impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world and threatens long-term economic degradation to the region. It is expected that social distancing and other measures to curtail transmission will remain in place until an effective vaccine is both developed and widely distributed. This will likely result in long-term interventions by both local government and international financial institutions to shore up fragile economies and weak healthcare systems.

The latest developments are listed below by date.


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Argentina is issuing updates here on government measures taken against the coronavirus.

March 10: The government created a ARS1.7 billion ($26 million) fund to buy equipment and medical supplies to combat coronavirus.

March 17: The government announced it was increasing funding to its meal programs to secure food and income for the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

March 17: The government announced that it would be excepting companies from payroll taxes and reinforcing unemployment insurance.

March 20: The government set price control on a basket of basic food items to avoid speculative pricing during the pandemic.

March 23: The government created an emergency family income program. Unemployed individuals would receive ARS10,000 ($151) during the month of April.

March 24: The government prohibited banks from closing or suspending overdrawn bank accounts.

March 24: The government suspended temporarily utility service suspensions to due lack of payment.

March 24: Presidency decrees preferential tax regimen for employers providing emergency services in the context of COVID-19.

March 24: Ministry of finance announces extraordinary bonus for pensioners and social security beneficiaries to mitigate the effects of COVID-19; payments of social security loans were condoned for the months of April and May; wage subsidy for formal workers (REPRO program) to secure jobs and alleviate employers; unemployment security; also, suspension of payroll taxes for month of March.

March 24: Ministry of finance announces price controls for 30 days on basket of basic foods, personal hygiene and health products.

March 24: Ministry of finance announces ARS350 billion ($5.2 billion) soft credit line for producers of basic products; ARS320 billion ($4.8 billion) allocation to provide working capital to companies at preferential rates; ARS25 billion ($373 million) allocation for Banco de la Nación credits to producers of food, products for personal hygiene and medical supplies.

March 26: The government changed budget allocations to add funding to medical attention.

March 26: The government prohibited banks from charging for cash machine services.

March 26: The government expanded its credit program for SMEs to cover employee wages.

March 27: The government extends the maturity dates of SME debts.

March 29: Foreclosures are suspended and facilities to pay mortgages are offered.

March 29: Rent payments and evictions are suspended.

March 31: The government expanded a program whereby citizens can buy essential goods through a government-managed online platform.

March 31: The government created an ARS30 billion ($453 million) guarantee fund for SMEs.

March 31: The government prohibited layoffs for 60 days.

March 31: Credit facilities are given to local companies producing medical supplies.

April 1: An emergency program assisting labor and production is created. Companies and workers can postpone payroll taxes or have them reduced by up to 95%.

April 1: Suspension of tolls on roads; import taxes for “critical supplies” are suspended.

April 1: Argentina said it will seek to restructure $83 billion in foreign currency debt with an offer to bondholders that will seek a grace period, an extension in maturities, a reduction in coupons and a potential haircut.

April 3: Government of Argentina extends the period of suspension of payroll taxes due to the COVID-19 emergency to include both the months of March and April.

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Argentina to fight Covid-19.

April 7: Argentina postponed payments on $9.8 billion in local-law, US dollar-denominated bonds until Dec. 31.

April 8: President Alberto Fernández said he planned to extend a lockdown of the economy beyond April. 12.

April 8: Fonplata lent Argentina $12 million to fight the effects of coronavirus. This loan brings to $53 million loans from Fonplata to Argentina in the context of the COVID-19 emergency.

April 9: ARS120 billion ($1.8 billion) are assigned to an emergency financing program for the provinces.

April 9: ARS30 million ($453,000) are given in aid to cultural facilities.

April 13: Workplace insurers are required to cover COVID-19.

April 13: Fernández announced that he would make an offer "in the next few days" to restructure $68.8 billion in foreign-currency bonds.

April 14: Argentina carried out a debt swap, issuing new government bonds worth $4.795 billion in a bid to avoid default. The exchange included local Treasury bonds worth 98.328 billion pesos for newly issued debt maturing in 2020, 2021, and 2022. The Economy Ministry said the exchange would cover 90% of debt maturing in April.

April 15: Argentina filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday to issue up to $51.7 billion in debt, a day before it is expected to unveil an offer to restructure as much as $83 billion in foreign-law bonds.

April 15: Argentina asked the Paris Club of creditor nations for a delay in making a $2.1 billion payment due in May, according to a report by the state news agency, Telam.

April 16: Argentina announced a restructuring offer for $68.8 billion in foreign-law bonds, proposing creditors accept a three-year grace period and 62% discount on interest payments. The plan asks that interest payments resume in 2023, starting at an average interest rate of 0.5% and increasing gradually over the years.

April 17: Price controls on basic goods are extended for 30 days.

April 19: The emergency program assisting labor and production is extended until June 30. Companies and workers can postpone payroll taxes or have them reduced by up to 95%.

April 20: Creditor groups reject Argentine government's initial debt restructuring plan.

April 21: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development gives Argentina $35 million loan to combat COVID-19.

April 22: New rules were created to expedite government procurement during the emergency.

April 22: Argentina presents a debt restructuring offer to investors for $66 billion worth central government foreign debt in order to garner resources to combat the health and economic effects of COVID-19. The offer asks for a three-year grace period, a 5.5% reduction of capital on bonds, and a reduction of 62% of interest payments.

April 25: The government announced that on April 29 it would add an extraordinary payment to holders of "food cards" to help them through the "critical social situation."  Families with one child would receive ARS4,000 ($60) and families with two or more children would receive ARS6,000.

April 30: government extends until May 31 measures prohibiting banks from closing or suspending overdrawn bank accounts.

April 30: grace periods for social security system loans are extended with the objective of sustaining incomes of the most vulnerable population during the pandemic.

May 3: Economy Minister Martín Guzmán publishes opinion in the Financial Times explaining why the country is seeking to refinance $66 billion worth of foreign public debt. Asserts to bondholders that the proposal prevents "destructive dynamics of the past."

May 5: Argentina's Ministry of Finance published a statement with the "context of the process that led to the exchange proposal presented by the Republic of Argentina on April 22, 2020," one day after bondholder groups reiterated their rejection of the proposed exchange.

May 5: A new formula for estimating electric bill is developed that takes into account the demand for energy of home during the pandemic, protecting the rights of consumers.

May 5: Companies with more than 800 employees are included in the universe of beneficiaries of the emergency assistance to preserve jobs and production (programa ATP).

May 7: The Inter-American Development Bank announced it will disburse $1.8 billion on to help Argentina in 2020. "This is the largest disbursement to Argentina in 10 years," the IDB said in a press release. Resources will go to fight COVID-19.

May 7: Ministry of tourism announces a ARG2.8 billion ($41.5 million) program  to help pay 200,000 workers in the sector.

May 10: Argentinian central bank announces that companies that do not have loans will now have access to a new subsidized line of credit with 24% interest rates. The bank estimates  that 200,000 companies are eligible for this benefit.

May 11: Argentina extends the deadline of its refinancing offer to bondholders. The new deadline was moved to May 22 from May 8.

May 12: Argentina's Ministry of Finance established the criteria to be applied in the distribution of ARG60 billion ($888 million) worth of subsidized loans to the provinces. The financial emergency program for the provinces was created on April 9.

May 12: Fonplata approved a $1.1 million disbursement to reinforce health protection measures. With this disbursement, Argentina has received a total of $53 million from Fonplata to fight Covid-19.
May 14: The federal revenue service gives tax payers payment facilities during the emergency. Overdue payments as of April 20 may be paid in six installments.
May 14: The government launches a home building program to create employment. The initiative will cost ARG2.9 billion ($427 million). 

May 15: Argentina's national public contracts office creates rules for speedy acquisitions during the health emergency.

May 16: The Argentinian ministry of commerce extends until June 20 a freeze on the price of a basket of essential goods

May 18: The government of Argentina froze the price of telephone, cellular, internet and TV services until August 31, declaring the services as essential.

May 18: The government of Argentina extends for 60 days the prohibition to lay off workers.

May 19: The Inter-American Development Bank approves $470 million loan to secure access to COVID-related medical attention for 17 million people.

May 21: Argentina extends deadline for debt restructuring offer to June 8.

May 28: Argentina extends until August 31 all expiring unemployment insurance benefits on account of the coronavirus emergency.

May 29: Government suspends road tools for health and security workers during the period of social distancing.

May 30: The ministry of finance announced that vulnerable families will be receiving a "new round" of ARG10,000 ($146) emergency cash transfers to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemics. The Family Emergency Income program covers 8.3 million people.

June 1: Government announces second phase of Emergency Family Income program. A total of 9 million people will receive cash transfers of ARS10,000 ($145). Payment will start on June 8.
June 6: Argentina extends by 60 addition days the period in which workers can be furloughed with 75% of pay.
June 9: Argentina approves law that exempts health workers and armed forces and security personnel from paying income tax between March 1 and September 30. The effect in retroactive and the period may be extended.
June 9: Argentina extend by 180 days the period in which companies have to pay double severance in case of layoffs as a measure to protect employment during COVID-19.
June 11: Argentinian government gives the long-distance collective transport industry with ARG50 million($716,830) worth of emergency funds.


March 18: Bolivia extends until May 29 the period for contributors to pay income tax due to the national health emergency.
March 24: Fonplata granted $200,000 to Bolivia for medical equipment and supplies.
March 31: Ministry of the presidency announces the creation of the Family Allowance program to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Families will be paid BOB500 ($72) per child attending Pre-K through secondary education.
March 31: Ministry of the presidency announces  Family Basket program to mitigate the effect of coronavirus. The program will pay vulnerable individuals (the elderly and the physically challenged) a one time BOB400 ($58) cash transfer.
April 1: President of Bolivia signs into law an exceptional automatic deferment of all capital and interest payments in the financial system for a period of six months. The measure is expected to alleviate one million individuals and businesses.
April 1: President of Bolivia announces a temporary deferment and reduction of utility service payments during the months of April, May and June. A total of 2.6 million homes are expected to benefit from the program valued BOB780 million ($113 million).
April 8: President of Bolivia announced free medical and life insurance for all health workers that contract coronavirus.
April 8: The Family Allowance program was extended to families whose children attend private institutions and special and alternative education.  The program is expected to benefit 3.2 million students with an investment of BOB1.6 billion ($231 million). Payments begin April 15.
April 14: President of Bolivia announced the creation of a universal cash transfer expected to benefit 4 million adults over a period of three months with monthly transfers of BOB500($72) for a total investment of BOB2 billion ($289 million).
April 14: President of Bolivia announces the Financial Mitigation program. A total of 782,000 SMEs will benefit from 5-year loans. Financing will total BOB1.5 billion ($217 million).
April 14: President of Bolivia announces the Employment Emergency Plan whereby businesses will receive subsidized 18-month loans equivalent to two minimum wages for each employed worker. Loans have a six-month grace period.
April 17: the IMF approved $327 million in emergency support to Bolivia to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 17: CAF approved $50 million loan for Bolivia's Covid-19 emergency.

April 21: The ministry of finance created a program to support micro and small enterprises with up to 10 workers. Interest rate is 11.5% while the unregulated rate is 24%. The program channels BOB1.5 billion ($218 million) to 720,000 small enterprises.

May 5: Universal cash transfer program begins. In the first week of implementation, individuals between 50 and 60 years of age will receive the transfer. Other age groups will be added by phase over a period of five weeks. The program is expected to benefit 4 million people for a period of three months. The transfer per person per months is of BOB500 ($72) per person.

May 8: World bank made available $170 million for Bolivia to increase the capacity of its health system to respond to COVID-19.
May 14: The World Bank approved $254 million to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 on Bolivian households.
May 28: Bolivia extend the period for contributors to pay income tax until July 31.
June 5: Bolivia extended by three months the period that companies and individuals have to pay debts below BOB1 million ($144,650).
June 9: The ministry of finance and the association of municipalities (FAM) of Bolivia agreed to create two compensatory solidarity funds for COVID-19 to pay health providers and to promote investment to stimulate the economy.
June 16: The congressional planning committee rejected the $327 million IMF loan to fight COVID-19. The ministry of finance said the loan, approved by the IMF on April 17, did not require the commission's approval and that the money was already in Bolivia. This is a five-year loan with 1% interest.


March 18: Brazil's central bank cut the benchmark Selic rate by 50 basis points to a record low of 3.75%.

March 23: The central bank and the national development bank BNDES announced a $234 billion package to increase liquidity available to banks, in what Roberto Campos Neto, the head of the central bank, called "the biggest liquidity injection ever announced by the central bank."

March 25: Brazil outlined a $24 billion spending program to provide healthcare and supplement lost income for informal workers.

March 29: BNDES announced I would be injecting capital into airlines companies, adding BRL40 billion ($7.7 billion) in payroll financing to help up to 1.4 million companies along with BRL2 billion in credit for medical equipment and BRL97 billion in support businesses.

April 2: The central bank said it will offer a special temporary credit line to help banks handle increased demand for credit. The estimated amount of collateral in those credit portfolios could reach BRL650 billion.

April 8: The national development bank BNDES announced a new BRS40 billion credit line to help up to 1.4 million small businesses pay their employees.

April 9: The central bank said it could purchase up to BRL1 trillion ($198.78 billion) of private sector assets to boost liquidity and increase availability of credit to companies impacted by COVID-19. Assets that could be purchased through the program include debentures, real estate credit notes (CCI), certificates of real estate receivables (CRI), agricultural receivables certificates (CRA), commercial notes, bank credit note (CCB) and credit rights funds.

April 13: Brazil's chamber of deputies approved a BRL80 billion ($15.5 billion) financial aid package for city and state governments to make up for lost tax revenues during the coronavirus pandemic.

April 15: Brazil´s Treasury Secretary Mansueto Facundo de Almeida said the fiscal deficit could reach BRL 600 billion ($114.5 billion) and national debt as much of 90% of GDP as a result of efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 15: The Economy Ministry announced that due to the COVID-19 emergency the federal government of Brazil had simplified procedures to facilitate the approval and disbursement of resources from development banks for projects and programs in the public sector.

April 15: The federal government established new, temporary, procurement rules to facilitate the acquisition of medical supplies during the pandemic.

April 17: The government announces all products imported by air or postal service to combat the pandemic with a value of up to $10,000 will not pay import taxes until September 30. A list of 141 products to fight the pandemic were also except from import taxes.

April 17: The Economy Ministry said that the measures to fight coronavirus added up to BRL1.169 trillion ($220 billion). Of these, BRL212 billion go to serve vulnerable families, BFL133 billion to help states and municipalities, BRL24.3 billion to buy medical supplies, and BRL524.4 billion to secure cash flow and employment in companies.

April 20: State-owned savings bank Caixa Econômica Federal and the small business association Sebrae announced on Monday a new credit line for small businesses in Brazil.

April 27: The government of Brazil suspended until September 30 a set of requirements from companies to contract credit operations with public institutions. The objective is to speed up processes during the coronavirus crisis.

April 28: Brazil announced it had invested BRL1 billion ($185 million) to purchase health supplies and equipment to fight COVID-19.

April 30: Federal government announces zero tariffs on imports of 81 products to combat COVID-19.

May 4: Employment and income preservation program is implemented. Employees will be paid in proportion to reduction of working hours or for temporary suspension of employment contract; hourly or independent workers will receive the benefit in accordance to their registration in the social security system.

May 6: Brazil's central bank cut the benchmark Selic interest rate by 75 basis points to a record low 3%, indicates more to come.

May 6: Brazil's Senate approved BRL60 billion ($10.5 billion) COVID-19 aid package to cities and states to help them pay for social welfare programs threatened by loss of revenue from a declining economy. Bill needs President Jair Bosonaro's signature.

May 7: President Bolsonaro signs into law BRL2 billion ($343 million) in federal aid for non profit hospitals and "santas casas" to be used in actions to combat COVID-19.

May 8: The list of products that can be imported without tariff payments is expanded.

May 11: The Government of Brazil expands a differentiated procurement regime to increase efficiency of government contracting during the pandemic.

May 12: Ministry of Finance extends period of deferment of taxes due in May, June and July.

May 18: The Brazilian federal government identifies 509 products free of import tax. Of these, 118 are used to combat COVID-19 and are now free of import tax, including more than 80 medications.
May 20: The senate of Brazil authorized the government of Paraná to take a $50 million lona from the Inter-American Development Bank.
May 21: The social security administration said it would be paying cash transfers to pensioners as part of a package of measures to fight the effects of the coronavirus. Nationwide, 35.8 million individuals will benefit from a 13th month payment. Through this mechanism, the social security system will be injecting BRL51.5 billion ($12.9 billion) into the economy to fight the effects of the pandemic.
May 22: Government of Brazil says that the country's fiscal effort to combat coronavirus has reached 5.6% of GDP.
May 26: Ministry of finance authorizes temporary contracting of 5,158 professionals to fight COVID-19.
May 27: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issues a provisional measure providing a BRL15.9 billion ($3.01 billion) emergency credit line for micro and small companies.
May 28: President of Brazil signs into law a bill allocating BRL60 billion ($11 billion) COVID-19 aid package to cities and states to help them pay for social welfare programs threatened by loss of revenue from a declining economy.
May 29: Brazil's National Monetary Council extends restrictions for banks, financial institutions, and other institutions doing business with the central bank on increases of dividend payments, salaries for senior management, repurchasing  shares and reducing share capital until the end of December. The restrictions established under Resolution 4.797 were originally supposed to expire in September.
June 2: Brazil's federal government and development bank BNDES launch emergency guarantees to secure credit access for SMEs. At total of BRL5 billion ($962 million) were allocated to the program.
June 5: BNDES launches an additional BRL2 billion credit line in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide working capital to small and medium-sized companies that function as suppliers, distributors, franchisees and intermediaries to other companies. 
June 8: Brazilian state-owned development bank BNDES announced the suspension until December of all payments related to financing taken by states, municipalities and Federal District.
June 9: Brazil announced that companies in contract with the state will be able to pay fines in installments. The measure was taken to preserve economic activity during the pandemic.
June 10: Brazil's internal revenue agency suspends automatic tax payments for the months of May, June and July, and extends the payment period for August, October and December, due to COVID-19.
June 17: Brazil's central bank unanimously decides to lower the benchmark Selic interest rate by 75 basis points to 2.25% in an effort to underpin the economy suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 18: Six Brazilian municipalities get a $450,000 grant from Fonplata to fight COVID-19.
June 18: Brazil defers for another 60 days the period that beneficiaries of social security have to comply with requirements, such as life certificates, due to the COVID-19 emergency.
June 22: Brazil's ministry of finance gives municipalities permission to suspend payment of employer's social security contributions and installment payments. The measure is a part of the federal program to combat COVID-19.


Chile's securities regulator issues updates here on measures taken combat COVID-19 pandemic.

March 16: Chile's central bank decreased interest rates by 75 basis points to 1%.

March 19: President Sebastian Piñera announced a $11.7 billion stimulus package, spending the equivalent to 4.7% of GDP, and introduced it in Chilean congress on March 23.

March 23: The central bank announced the creation of a conditional credit facility (FCIC) providing a special financial line to banks, with incentives for refinancing loans to homes and companies. On Thursday, the bank approved the norms that regulate this facility and announced the activation of a liquidity credit line (LCL). The two credit lines are for up to 3% of the banks’ commercial and consumer portfolio.

March 27: Congress approves a law to provide cash transfers to families. The program includes families that are already receiving subsidies and adds another 670 thousand low income homes to the program. The measure is expected to benefit 2 million homes that do not have formal jobs. The estimated cost is $170 million.

March 27: Chile's congress approved raising debt shelf by $4 billion to help finance the government's emergency plan to fight COVID-19.

March 31: Congress approves a law to protect employment as part of an emergency economic plan to face the pandemic.

March 31: The central bank decreased interest rates by 50 basis points to 0.5%.

April 8: Piñera announced the creation of a $2 billion fund to distribute more resources and create more employment in low-income sectors. The program is expected to benefit 2.6 million workers in the informal sector.

April 8: Piñera and the central bank announced the creation of a government-guaranteed $24 billion credit line for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

April 8: The central bank offered liquidity lines to non-banking financial institutions.

April 13: Piñera announced the terms for government-guaranteed loans to SMEs. The amounts will be equivalent of three months of sales; the loans will last 24 to 48 months with a six-month grace period; and the maximum interest rates will be 300 basis points over the benchmark rate. All companies with less than UF25,000 ($852,960) in annual sales are eligible for the program.

April 20: Piñera announced an emergency COVID-19 family income initiative that will benefit 4.5 million individuals in 1.8 million homes. The emergency income will be handed out for three months. The cost of the program was not announced, but it is part of a $17 billion dollar package to protect employment, SMEs, and family income, and to finance temporary tax credits.

April 21: Chile's central bank take "exceptional measures" in reaction to the impact of internal and external shocks to the Chilean economy. The measure include injections of liquidity, interventions in the foreign exchange market, FX swaps and liquidity lines with credit incentives.

April 27: The Finance Ministry presented Compra Ágil, a program whose purpose is to facilitate the participation of SMEs as government contractors. The program will be applied to all acquisitions for values below CLP1.5 million ($1,773), which represent 80% of all central government acquisitions.

April 28: Piñera announced the launching of a $3 billion guarantee fund for small entrepreneurs by BancoEstado. The program will offer guarantees for up to $24 billion dollars and will benefit 99.8% of companies in the country and protect 84% of employment.

April 29: Pinera signs into law a bill to protect 1.2 million independent workers, putting in place a new income protection insurance system that will benefit self-employed individuals whose incomes fall by at least 20%.

May 4: Piñera announced one-time cash payment to alleviate financial stresses on more than 1 million pensioners. CLP87 billion ($104 million) is allocated for this program.

May 5: Chile issued $2 billion worth of debt in both US dollars and euros to help it fight against the economic ructions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In January the government said it had completed its 2020 financing plans after a massive $3.8 billion green bond issuance.

May 7: Piñera announced the injection of $290 million to municipalities to fight COVID-19.

May 12: Chile's central bank requested a $23.8 billion line of credit with the IMF.

May 13: Chile's central bank said it intended to extend its services to various types of nonbank financial institutions "to enable it to more closely manage and mitigate financial stability risks."

May 18: Piñera announces "Food for Chile" program that will secure food for 2.5 million homes during the pandemic.


May 23: Piñera begins implementation of "Emergency Family Income" program, with a first cash transfer to 499,000 families or 1.8 million individuals. Through this program, 1.2 million families or 3 million individuals will receive three cash transfers over a period of three months. The government is investing $830 million in this program.
May 26: Finance Ministry announces that it will be evaluating the advisability or appropriateness of contributing to the reorganization process of LATAM. The airline filed that day for a Chapter 11 reorganization process under the supervision of a United States court of law.
May 29: The IMF approves a two-year, $23.9 billion flexible credit line because, notwithstanding very strong fundamentals and policy settings, Chile is exposed to "substantial external risks as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including a significant deterioration in global demand for Chilean exports, a sharp decline or reversal of capital inflows toward emerging markets, and an abrupt tightening of global financial conditions.
May 29: Piñera announced more subsidies for a minimum guaranteed income for 700,000 workers.
June 16: Chile's central bank decided to keep the benchmark interest rates at 0.50%. It also agreed to increase the scope of non-conventional measures to support liquidity and credit. These include: 1) a conditional credit facility for increased placements for a total of $16 billion for a period of eight months; 2) a special asset purchasing program for up to $8 billion over a six month period.
June 18: Chilean ministry of finance introduces bill that allows the central bank to buy and sell public sector debt instruments in the secondary market. The purpose of the measure, reserved for exceptional situations, is to secure financial stability during crises like the one created by the coronavirus.


March 23: Colombia's central bank announced measures of quantitative easing; a first time in the region with this type of measure.

March 23: The Finance Ministry announced the creation of an emergencies mitigation fund (FOME). Days before it committed $2.98 billion for the fund.

March 24: Colombia announced a subsidized loan program through state-backed agency Findeter and government-owned lender Bancóldex to finance project and initiatives that try to impede the spread of the disease.

March 27: The central bank cut the benchmark interest rate half a percentage point to 3.75%. That same day, the bank announced a $400 million auction of FX swaps to be held on March 30 and authorized additional measures to reinforce liquidity in pesos.

April 3: Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said the government was allocating COP15 trillion ($3.7 billion) from the country's savings funds (FAE and Fonpet) to tend to the "sanitary, productive and humanitarian emergency," adding that issuing new debt would be inevitable.

April 6: State-backed development bank Findeter launched a COP713 billion credit line to underpin private companies and municipal and state governments affected by COVID-19. Of these, COP461 billion were allocated as 7-year loans with a 2-year grace period for working capital needs. Another COP252 billion were allocated to 12-year loans with a 2-year grace period for investment needs. Beneficiaries were given access to these loans through financial intermediaries whose interest rates were capped at 2% above Findeter’s interest rates.

April 6: The Finance Ministry announced the creation of a new COP12 trillion special guarantees program to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business sector. Through this program, the government will guarantee small business loans serving liquidity requirements to pay for personnel and fixed costs.

April 7: The Finance Ministry announced a program of cash transfers for 3 million households that are not in the regular cash transfer programs. Each household will receive COP160,000 in the month of April.

April 9: The IMF executive board met in an informal session to discuss Colombia's request to renew its Flexible Credit Line (FCL) with the same level of access as the 2018 arrangement for $10.8 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs).

April 9: Colombia announced the suspension of tariffs on corn, sorghum and soy until June 30 to decrease the cost of production in the agricultural sector.

April 13: The Finance Ministry announces a measure to recover the COP10 trillion ($2.58 billion) in lost tax income from the coronavirus outbreak.

April 14: The central bank cut bank reserve requirements by $2.3 billion, starting April 22. Savings and checking accounts now require reserves of 8%, down from 11%. Fixed-term savings accounts of 180 days reserve requirement cut to 3.5% from $4.5%. Bank to purchase up to 2 trillion worth of TES Treasury bonds by end of April, will participate in TES forward market in bid to inject liquidity into the economy.

April 15: President Iván Duque decreed that all banks in Colombia are required to buy “solidarity bonds” from the government to raise money for the recently created Emergencies Mitigation Fund, or FOME.

April 16: The government levied a “solidarity tax” on public employees making more than COP10 million ($2,515) per month.

April 16: The Finance Ministry said the National Guarantees Fund, or FNG, will provide guarantees for loans held by SMEs and microenterprises to cover working capital and payroll costs.

April 27: The ministry of finance swapped COP1.5 trillion ($369 million) worth of 2020 bonds for bonds maturing in 2027 and 2037 to decrease financial volatility.

April 29: Colombian development bank Findeter opened a working capital line of credit for utility companies at 0% interest so that they can defer for 36 months payments from low income clients during the pandemic. Utility companies will have three years to pay back, with a three month grace period.

April 30: Colombia's central bank announced it had lowered to 3.25% from 3.75% its policy interest rate.

April 30: Colombia development bank Findeter announced a COP500 billion ($126 million) credit line to alleviate working capital needs of state and local governments.

May 1: the IMF approved a $10.8 billion flexible credit line for Colombia to help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

May 6: Customs authority invites 27,247 tax payers to benefit from tariff reductions for a total value of COP1.2 trillion ($302 million) in response to the economic emergency.

May 7: Government declares a second economic emergency to continue mitigating the effects of the pandemic. The government will subsidize 40% of minimum salary and 20% of receipts for companies. The subsidy will have a cost of COP2 trillion ($507 million) per month, and a total of COP6 trillion over a period of three months.

May 11: Colombia's ministry of finance announced new measures to increase liquidity, decreasing margins for market makers to 30 basis points from 50 basis points for peso-denominated treasures bonds, and to 40 basis points from 50 basis points for UVR-denominated treasury bonds.

May 11: Colombia's presidency decreed the creation of a program to support formal employment. The program will subsidize 40% of minimum wage equivalent of dependent worker's salaries whose income has decreased by 20% or more.

May 21: President Duque announced that he would be leading the drafting of a Letter for Business Development that the OAS was formulating to prepare to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the region.
May 21: The government of Colombia creates a COP1 trillion ($265 million) line of credit through the National Guarantees Fund to support the liquidity needs of microenterprises.
May 26: Colombian central bank announces that the government will be issuing solidarity bonds on May 28 with the central bank acting as bookrunner. Local banks will be requested to purchase them.
May 27: The Colombian government announced that it has invested 10% of GDP to combat the economic emergency created by COVID-19.
May 29: Colombian central bank cuts benchmark interest rate to 2.75% from 3.25%.
June 3: Colombia decrees the creation of a two-year special regime to facilitate the reorganization of insolvent SMEs.
June 4: Colombia decrees that the state will be able to buy and then sell shares in companies at risk of insolvency.
June 19: IDB approves $850 million loan for Colombia for a project that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and business productivity, to help recuperate the country from the impact of COVID-19.

Costa Rica

March 25: CABEI authorized $90 million for Costa Rica's state-owned banks to support productive sectors during the corovavirus pandemic.
April 29, The IMF approved Costa Rica's request for $504 million in emergency financial assistance to help support essential COVID-19 related health spending and relief measures.
May 15: Costa Rica joins the OECD as its 38th member. As part of its accession process, Costa Rica completed in-depth technical reviews by 22 OECD Committees, carrying out reforms to align its legislation, policies and practices to OECD standards.
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May 26: Dominica announces 1% interest loans to small businesses to help in their reactivation after the coronavirus closedown. The government has allocated XCD5 million ($1.9 million) worth of local resources to this project. With the partnership of World Band and IFM, income support and small loans facility funds total XCD20.7 million.

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Dominican Republic

March 16: The central bank decreased interest rates by 100 basis points, to 3.5% from 4.5%.

March 27: The Finance Ministry announced it would allocate RD32 billion($591 million) to a package to protect the population's health, preserve employment, protect companies during the pandemic.

March 30: The government announced it would be using $150 million from an existing contract with the World Band to tend to needs of the Dominican populated affected by the coronavirus.

March 26: As a measure to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, the central bank increased liquidity facilities to RD$50 billion from RD$30 billion through 90-day repos at a 5% interest rate; it also decreased reserve requirements for banks, and increased liquidity facilities in foreign currency to $400 million from $300 million.

April 2: The government announced that it would begin to transfer cash to low income families staying at home during the pandemic. The payments program is due to start April 3 and is expected to benefit 1.5 million families at a cost of RD$17 billion ($314 million).

April 2: Following a request from the government of the Dominican Republic, the World Bank released $150 million to support the country's efforts to implement emergency measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
April 6: The Finance Ministry announced the implementation of a cash transfer program for 295,180 formal workers in the private sector. A total of DOP1.2 billion ($22.2 million) have been allocated to this program.

April 14: The Finance Ministry announced that it was preparing a set of measures to reactivate the Dominican economy once the country got past the pandemic. The plan is being developed in collaboration with the IMF, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank for International Settlements.

April 23: Dominican Republic central bank announced: 1) decrease of policy interest rate to 3.5% from 4.5%; 2) decrease of repo interest rate to 4.5% from 6%; 3) decrease of overnight rate to 3.5% from 3%; 4) liquidity window for SMEs for RD20.6 billion ($379 million).

April 28: The ministry of finance announced that it is evaluating the mechanisms to create a guaranteed funding program for SMEs.

April 29: the IMF approved $650 million in emergency assistance to the Dominican Republic to address the COVID-19 pandemic through the IMF's rapid financing instrument.

May 12: The Dominican Association of Pension Funds (ADFP) acquired RD$40 billion ($726 million) worth of Treasury bonds to be used to  fight the impact of COVID-19 on workers and the most vulnerable.

May 21: Dominican Republic gets €20 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) for a sustainable socioeconomic project in the country's northern region. AFD said the project will help the country reactivate and be resilient after COVID-19.

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March 20: Ecuador's ministry of economic inclusion began to implement the distribution of "food kits" to the country's vulnerable population.
March 21: The Government of Ecuador announced that all families with incomes below $400 a month would receive a one-time $120 dollar cash transfer to help them through the health emergency. A total of 400,000 families are expected to benefit from the measure.
March 23: The IMF announced: 1) that Ecuador intended to seek support from the funds rapid financing instrument to address balance of payment needs and address needs of sectors most affected by COVID-19; 2) that the IMF was working with Ecuador on a successor fund-supported arrangement building on the current one.
March 31: The Finance Ministry required utility companies not to suspend service in situations of delinquency due to the COVID-19 emergency.
April 1: The Finance Ministry announced that the most affected sectors - tourism, airlines, agricultural exporters, exporters of goods and tax payers in Galápagos - would be able to differ income and value added tax payments due in April, May and June. Companies with revenues of up to $300,000 in 2019 will also benefit from this tax deferment.

April 2: The Finance Ministry announced that all individuals and SMEs could differ payments for 60 days at no additional cost and without interest, expenses or fines. Borrowers will also be able request refinancing or restructuring of debts within 120 days of the announcement.

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Ecuador to fight COVID-19.
April 8: The Finance Ministry asked investors to accept deferred interest payments on more than $800 million in bonds until August 15.
April 14: The government announced that it had amended the consent solicitation seeking relief from short-term financial obligations in response to "constructive input from a group of institutional investors."
April 16: The Inter-American Development Bank announced it disbursed $25.3 million to Ecuador to strengthen its response to COVID-19.
April 20: President Moreno announced that the country was launching an intensive diplomatic campaign among Ecuador’s principal partners to get “support with more resources.” “Ecuador is facing the most critical moment in its history,” he said.​
May 3: The IMF extended $643 million in emergency financing to Ecuador under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)

May 7: Ecuador gets $500 million loan from the World Bank to strengthen its COVID-19 response and stimulate the economy plus a $6 million grant to help Venezuelan refugees.

May 8: The Latin American Development Bank (CAF) approved $400 million in loans for Ecuador.

May 12: Ecuador gets a $93.8 million loan from the Inter-American Bank (IDB) to support micro and small businesses and employment during COVID-19 crisis.

May 14: The Government of Ecuador announced the implementation of the second phase of the emergency cash transfer program for low income families created by decree on March 21, adding 150,000 families to the program for a total of 550,000 families. All families with incomes below $400 a month would receive a one-time $120 dollar cash transfer to help them through the health emergency.

May 16: Ecuador's national assembly approves a new public finance law seeking to assure fiscal sustainability.

May 19: The Inter-American Development Bank approves a $250 million loan to Ecuador to improve detection of the COVID-19 pathogen. This is the second in a $700 million COVID-19 lending program first announced by IDB on April 16.

May 20: The presidency of Ecuador decrees the closing of eight public enterprises and the suppression of two public agencies. With this measure, the government plans to save $4 billion dollars.
June 4: Ecuador begins debt renegotiation process with bondholders.
June 5: Inter-American Development Bank approved $280 million loan to Ecuador to support transformation of its energy grid and promote access from renewable sources.

El Salvador

April 14: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted $389 million in emergency financial assistance to El Salvador, the first loan to the Central American nation in more than 30 years.

May 8: CABEI approved $50 million financing for COVID-19 emergency to El Salvador.
May 28: The IDB approved a loan of $250 million to address the COVID-19 pandemic in El Salvador.
June 12: El Salvador gets a €6 million ($6.7 million) grant from CABEI, the German Financial Cooperation through KfW and the European Union (EU) to support SEMs affected by COVID-19 This grant was provided in the framework of a regional program launched on May 29 (see below).


April 21: Guatemala sold $1.2 billion worth of cross-border bond. A total of $500 were social bonds to be investment in combating COVID-19.

May 4: CABEI approved $193.2 million financing for Guatemala to help improve its healthcare system.
June 10: IMF approves $594 million emergency assistance under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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April 17: The IMF executive board approved $111.6 million in emergency financing for Haiti.

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March 31: The IMF disbursed $144 million in emergency financing to Honduras for the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 3: Congress voted to allow the government to issue an additional $2.5 billion in debt to fund the response to COVID-19.

April 21: CABEI activated $200 million credit for Honduran Central Bank.

May 7: IMF staff proposes to increase fund support for Honduras by $222 million to a total of $530 million.

May 8: CABEI approved $300 million to support Honduran MSMEs affected by Covid-19.
May 21: Honduras announced the Presidential Coffee Bonus initiative, a project to finance more than 91,000 coffee growers with a $12 million investment. The country also announced a Solidary Productive Bonus providing $11 million worth of financial support to 140,000 farmers to guarantee "secure food production."
May 22: CABEI approved $100 million loan for Honduras to help MSMEs affected by COVID-19.
May 26: CABEI approved $50 million to Honduras for prevention, detection and treatment of COVID-19.
June 1: IMF increased support to Honduras to $531 million from $308 million. The decision was taken after the second review of Honduras' performance under its economic program supported by a two-year stand-by arrangement. The decision considered "the COVID-19 pandemic and external spillovers," the IMF said.
June 4: CABEI agreed to lend $2.5 million to Fundación Covelo to support SMEs in Honduras.
June 12: Honduras gets a $70 million 30-year loan from the World Bank for water security.


April 16: Jamaica's Minister of Finance and Public Service, Nigel Clarke, sent a request to the IMF for access to its Rapid Financing Instrument to help alleviate a balance of payments risks. 

May 15: The IMF approved $520 million in emergency financial assistance for Jamaica to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
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March 20: A week in advance of the scheduled day of decision, Mexico’s central bank lowered interest rates by 50 basis points to 6.5%. That same day, the central bank loosened rules for banks on minimum deposits in the central bank and announced a lowering of interest rates for the central bank’s ordinary additional liquidity facility. 

March 20: Mexico’s ministry of finance announced new rules for market-makers to promote depth and liquidity in the local debt market. 

March 26: The finance ministry announced new measures to lessen the effects of COVID-19 in the financial and insurance sectors. These included changes in accounting rules to make it easier to defer capital and interest payments to financial institutions.

March 31: Mexico’s central bank announced the implementation of a $60 billion swap line program with the US Federal Reserve (Fed). The first auction is scheduled for April 1.

April 1: Mexico places $5 billion for a period of 84 days in first auction of greenbacks provided by the Fed through a $60 billion swap line program. Ten banks participated with orders totaling $6.32 billion. The weighted average interest rate in the transaction was 0.9056%. This is the first auction in the $60 billion program created on March 19 by the Fed to provide dollar liquidity to Mexico’s banking system in response to market volatility and the weakening of the peso that followed falling oil prices and the COVID-19 shock.

April 3: Mexico's central bank announced that the second auction of greenbacks from the $60 billion swap line program is scheduled to take place on April 6. Up to $5 billion will be auctioned for a period of 84 days. 

April 18: The securities commission announced that it would be allowing insurance companies to change policies to cover the effects of COVID-19 on policyholders.

April 21: Mexico's central bank announced it would offer MXN750 billion pesos ($31 billion) in liquidity and credits to support the country's financial system. It also cut the benchmark lending rate by 50 basis points to 6%. The central bank is forecasting a 5% contraction in the economy in the first half of 2020 versus the same period a year ago.

April 22: President López Obrador announced a MXN622.6 billion ($24.6 billion) package to create two million jobs and to protect 70% of Mexican families during the pandemic, and to execute other social projects to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the population.

April 22: Mexico issues $6 billion in US-dollar-denominated debt at a discount, with order books 4.75 times the size of issuance. The government issued debt maturing in 2025, 2032, and 2051.

April 27: The government of Mexico changes pricing rules for electric services to protect families from paying higher electric tariffs due to increased consumption derived from having to spend more time at home.

May 13: President López Obrador announces plan to reopen the economy.

May 14: AMLO and the Mexican association of insurance institutions presented a Solidary Coverage program providing free life insurance to protect the families of health workers.
May 14: Mexican central bank lowered the interbank interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% to improve the performance of financial markets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
May 22: President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his government had given out 740,709 credits for a total of MXN44,7 billion ($1.9 billion) to homeowners, individuals and SMEs to reactivate the economy. He said the plan is to give out a total of MXN307 billion in stimulus loans.
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March 20: Government of Panama extends until May 30 the period to pay income tax due on March 31.

March 26: Panama sold $2.5 billion worth of bonds in the cross-border market to combat the coronavirus.

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Panama to fight COVID-19.

April 14: Panama said it secured $1.3 billion in funding from the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to help small businesses and job creation.

April 16: The IMF approved $515 million in emergency funding for the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 20: CAF lends $50 million to Panama to strengthen is capabilities in response to COVID-19.

May 6: CAF approved long-term loan for Panama of up to $350 million under the contingent credit line to support countercyclical measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 26: Panama reallocated $2 billion worth of budged resources to fight the coronavirus. Adjustments implied a f $1.5 billion reduction in public investment, and a $500 million reduction in the operational expenses of public institutions.

May 27: Government of Panama extends until July 17  the period to pay income tax due on March 31.

June 2: Panama gets $150 million from IDB to boost liquidity in agricultural SMEs affected by COVID-19. This is the first tranche of a $300 million loan. The second $150 million will be disbursed in early 2021.

June 11: Panama gets a $20 million loan from the World Bank for COVID-19 emergency response. The loan has a 10-year maturity and a 2-year grace period.

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March 26: The Paraguayan president signed into law a bill COVID-19 emergency bill authorizing the executive to borrow an additional $1.6 billion to fund a fiscal package designed to mitigate the economic and social effects of the coronavirus.

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Paraguay to fight COVID-19.
April 6: Fonplata granted $200,000 to Paraguay for medical equipment and supplies.
April 21: The IMF approved an immediate disbursement of $274 million (100% of its SDR quota) to help Paraguay meet balance of payment needs. In addition to the balance of payment needs, the IMF said the money will help the government preserve resources for fighting COVID-19 healt-related expenses and social safety net spending, while also "catalyzing multilateral donor support."
April 23: Paraguay issued $1 billion worth of 10-year debt in an effort to boost finances in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The debt was authorized by an emergency law passed in early April.
April 30: the government adds 1.1 million informal workers who make more than minimum wage to the health emergency subsidy program.
May 6: Presidency of Paraguay announced it would draft a new law to redirect the use of municipal and state royalties for purchases required to fight COVID-19.
May 13: The Ministry of Finance establishes payment arrangements, giving tax payers until August 31 to pay in four installments accrued value added tax.
May 18: Inter-American Development Bank arranges $210 million in financing to support low-income households and small businesses fight COVID-19.
May 19: Inter-American Development Bank approves line of credit up to $250 million for Paraguay, executed through three loans. Only one loan for $105 million targeting the building of a sewer and clean water project is approved as of May 19th.
May 21: Paraguay's central bank maintained the monetary policy interest rate at 1.25%, stating that "the current accommodative stance of monetary policy, together with the different liquidity support programs, will grant the economy greater impetus."
June 16: Paraguay's ministry of finance transferred $1.2 billion to fund the Health Emergency Law.
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March 19: Peru's central bank decreased interest rates by 100 basis points, setting interest rates at 1.25% from 2.25%.

March 20: The central bank injected PEN400 million ($119 million) for two years through a repo at a 3.24% interest rate.

March 25: The Finance Ministry announced the creation of a $87.7 million fund that would allow small and medium-sized businesses to pay existing working capital credit lines and restructure or refinance their debts.

March 26: The central bank loosens reserve requirements in local and foreign currency. It also approved a new instrument to inject liquidity in companies: a loan portfolio, with the state serving as guarantor, for working capital needs.

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Peru to fight COVID-19.

April 4: President Martín Vizcarra issued a decree to allow 4.8 million low-income households to postpone electric, gas and telecommunications service payments for March.

April 6: The Finance Ministry initiated Reactiva Perú, a program with PEN30 billion in working capital loans.

April 9: The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a historic low of 0.25%. The bank expects inflation at the lower end of its 1% to 3% target range. Economic stimulus plans announced by the government amount to roughly 12% of GDP.

April 12: The government extends for another 14 days the suspension of certain procurement procedures for goods and services related to the prevention and spread of COVID-19.

April 16: Peru issued $3 billion worth of international bonds to raise sash to help in the battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 19: The government authorized a cash subsidy for below poverty level of PEN760 ($224.2). Resources totaling PEN835 million were transferred to the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.

April 22: The ministry of finance approved Reactiva Peru, a program than proves credit guarantees to companies. The measure had been first announced on April 6.

April 24: Peru's central bank decreased repo interest rates to 1.02% from 1.13%.

April 29: Peru's ministry of finance said that as of April 27, the government had allocated PEN67 billion ($9.4 billion) to contain the economic effects of COVID-19.

April 29: A decree was issued in Peru authorizing budgetary reallocations and temporary procedures and standards to expedite the procurement of protection equipment in the public sector.

April 30: The government of Peru decreed that companies would benefit from a suspension or substantial reduction of income tax payments in the months of April, May, June and July, as a measure to secure their short term liquidity.

April 30: Through an emergency decree, Peru's ministry of finance got permission to sell up to $4 billion in cross-border bonds.

May 7: Peruvian central bank took measures to protect the value of pension funds and their affiliates, giving them temporary permission to sell local Treasury bonds to the central bank.

May 8: The Ministry of Finance extended to five years from four years, the period in which companies can compensate for losses in income tax filings.

May 13: The Peruvian government expanded the Reactiva working capital loans guarantees program for companies to PEN60 billion ($17 billion) from PEN30 billion.

May 20: Government of Peru transfers PEN39 million ($11.4 million) to municipal government to help them prevent contagion of COVID-19 in markets and dining halls.

May 22: The financial development corporation executed the first auction to assign lines of credit for SMEs. A total of PEN250 million ($73 million) were adjudicated with interest rates ranging between 3.97% and 4.5%. The measure is a part of the Emergency Decree enacted on April 27.
May 28: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approves a two-year, $11 billion flexible credit line for Peru to fight the effects of COVID-19.
May 28: Government of Peru temporarily decreases wages of public servants to pay health workers.

May 28: Government of Peru improves conditions of stimulus program for SMEs. Program is extended to three months from one month and credit limits are increased.

June 11: Central bank of Peru maintained benchmark interest rate at 0.25%.

Trinidad and Tobago

April 3: CAF donates $400,000 to Trinidad and Tobago to fight Covid-19.

April 15: Trinidad and Tobago gets a $50 million loan from CAF for anti-cyclical support during the pandemic.

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April 3: CAF donated $400,000 to Uruguay to help it fight against the spread the coronavirus and its effects.

April 19: Fonplata approved $15 million in financing for a small business emergency loan program in Uruguay.

April 27: Fonplata granted $200,000 to Uruguay to purchase medical equipment to fight Covid-19.

May 5: CAF approved a $50 million loan to Uruguay to be used to fight the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its effects in public health and the economy.

May 18: World Bank approved $20 million in emergency funds for Uruguay.

June 17: The government of Uruguay extended the period during which companies only have to pay a minimum value added tax; it also extended the period in which credit lines and guarantees could be requested by large companies. "The objective of the measure is to inject liquidity so that the period of low economic activity does not lead to insolvency," the government said
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is publishing research and policy notes under a new section: SPECIAL SERIES ON COVID-19. It is also providing a special lending tracker, detailing the emergency finances it is providing to combat the pandemic.

Five nations in the LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) region are slated to receive funding from either the IMF or World Bank. Argentina is receiving $35 million via the World Bank; Ecuador is receiving $20 million from the World Bank; Haiti is receiving $20 million from the World Bank; Honduras is receiving $135 million from the IMF; Paraguay is receiving $20 million from the World Bank.

March 25: The IMF and World Bank requested that Group of 20 nations put on hold the debt payments made by some of the poorest countries, if asked, in order to let them focus resources on fighting the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Taking aim at the International Development Association (IDA) nations, the multi-lateral lenders issued a joint statement saying these countries, which are home to a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty, will need relief.

March 25: IDB Invest announces plan to contribute $5 billion in financing for companies affected by the pandemic.

March 26: CABEI said on March 26 that it had allocated $1.91 billion for a COVID-19 contingency plan.
March 27: IMF enhanced its catastrophe containment relief trust to enable the fund to provide debt service relief for its poorest and most vulnerable members.
April 3: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said some members have asked about "something that de facto goes into quantitative easing from the world. And it is by allocation of additional SDRs (special drawing rights) to boost liquidity" in emerging markets. She also admitted that the bank falls short on one particular instrument: "to provide short term liquidity to countries that are basically strong but may find themselves in a tight place."
April 8: CAF approved allocating $2 billion to the COVID-19 emergency.
April 9: Georgieva said the IMF sees trillions of dollars in financing needs to deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in emerging markets.
April 10: World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a LinkedIn post he is confident there will be progress at the upcoming G7 and G20 meetings and the virtual meetings of the IMF/WB for adopting debt relief for poor countries. The plan, unveiled on March 25 calls for big creditor nations to suspend debt payments made by International Development Association (IDA) nations, starting May 1. IDA nations owe $14 billion in 2020 on their official bilateral debt service obligations.
April 10: Georgieva says in a podcast with The Economist magazine that the United States is not interested in expanding the use of Special Drawing Rights, the IMF's official currency unit. Expanding the amount of SDRs would give the IMF more financial firepower to get money to member nations. According to unnamed sources, Reuters reported the Trump Administration actively opposes the extra issuance because it would provide China and Iran with additional resources with now conditions.
April 13: IMF agreed to immediate debt relief for 25 member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). The initial relief provided for immediate use by these nations is SDR157.1 million, or $213.4 million. This approval (given by the IMF's Executive Board on April 15) allows disbursement of grants from the CCRT for repayment of total debt service falling due to the IMF over the next six months, with potential extensions, up to a maximum of full two years from April 14, 2020, subject to availability of sufficient grant resources. CCRT could grow to $1.4 billion. Haiti is the only country in the LAC region included in this first list. CCRT rules amended in March, allow up to two years of debt service relief. CCRT has $500 million available, including new pledges from Great Britain ($185 million), Japan ($100 million), China (undisclosed), Netherlands (undisclosed).
April 14: IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath unveils economic forecasts for 2020: Latin America and Caribbean region to shrink 5.2% in 2020, rebound with 3.4% growthin 2021. Global economy to contract 3% in 2020, rebound with 5.8% growth in 2021.
April 14: G7 nation finance officials support temporary debt service relief to poorest nations if joined by China and other G20 nations, Paris Club creditors.
April 15: G20 finance ministers agree to suspend debt service payments for world's poorest nations through Dec. 31, 2020. Freezing principal and interest expected to provide nations with $20 billion to redirect toward health systems to fight pandemic.
April 15: Georgieva says fund is making a push to triple concessional financing to $18 billion for the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
April 15: World Bank activates $6.6 million in immediate funding for Dominica's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on enhancing health system capacity and strengthening food security.
April 21: World Bank provides $4.5 million to support Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' COVID-19 emergency response.
April 24: IDB Invest said it priced $1 billion worth of bonds in its largest debt sale ever, raising money for a $5 billion lending program for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

April 22: CAF announced it the bank would be helping mitigate the effects of coronavirus in the Latin American region through agile financial and technical instruments; the effort includes a regional line of credit for $2.5 billion for countercyclical economic measures.

April 27: IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno tells LatinFinance that IDB Invest will increase private sector lending to $7 billion from $5 billion. Listen to full interview here. IDB Invest issues press release formally outlining the increase the following day.

April 30: World Bank provides US$10.5 million to Saint Lucia for COVID-19 response

May 1: World Bank announces $10.5 million in aid to support Saint Lucia's COVID-19 response.

May 5: The World Bank provided $412,000 to Suriname to purchase essential medical supplies for the country’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 30: The IMF agreed to add $90 million to an extended fund facility for Barbados and also to lower the primary fiscal surplus target to 1% of GDP to give the country more flexibility to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

May 13: legislators from 25 member countries urge the World Bank and the IMF "to provide extensive debt relief and financial assitance for all impoverished nations most at risk of the devastating human costs and the long-lasting economic injuries of COVID-19."

May 15: The IDB approved a $750,000 grant to support the Caribbean Public Health Agency (Carpha). The grant was financed by the IDB Japan Special Fund.
May 19: Republic of South Korea donated $50 million to CABEI to help the Central American region.
May 20: Inter American Development Bank (IDB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) strengthen ties to fight Covid-19.
May 20: The IMF approved a $16 million disbursement for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 27: Latin American development bank CAF sold 700 million ($768 million) worth of five-year social bonds to finance coronavirus-related healthcare spending and emergency economic support to its member countries.
May 27: IDB and Sweden sign an agreement for a risk transfer mechanism to support development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Instrument provides up to $100 million from Sweden that enables IDB to increase lending up to $300 million for new projects in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala.
May 29: CABEI, the German Financial Cooperation through KfW and the European Union (EU) launch the financial sector support facility for $350 million to finance MSMEs in the Central American region.
June 1: IMF approves a $250 million disbursement to Bahamas to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 3: CABEI issues $375 million in 5-year floating rate notes bonds listed in Taipei and Luxembourg to underpin efforts to help member countries cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 1: World Bank agreed to lend $2.5 million to Grenada for COVID-19 response.

June 4: IDB Invest provided a six-year, $50 million loan to Chilean social security provider Caja Los Héroes to provide services for senior citizens during COVID-19.
June 5: IDB approved a $6.2 million loan to help Belize support the containment and control of the pandemic and mitigate it's impact.
June 8: IDB Invest considers a BRL200 million ($40.2 million) loan for the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein to expand COVID-19 treatment in the city of São Paulo.
June 9: IDB sells $4 billion worth of five-year bonds in US dollars, with final orderbooks in excess of $5.75 billion to help fund response to COVID-19 pandemic.
June 11: IDB adds £250 million ($315 million) to it 0.5% 2026 sustainable development bonds (SDBs) at 40 basis points over gilts.
June 12: IDB announced on June 12 that it had sold the day prior AUD50 million ($33.26 million) worth of ten-year Sustainable Development Bonds (SDB).
June 15: IDB, Everis NTT and Microsoft joined to provide immediate digital solutions to Latin American and Caribbean governments through the Digi/Gob platform. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the world of the critical role digital technologies play in our daily lives, while underscoring the essential nature of government services in times of crisis," said Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB.
June 22: IDB approves $12 million loan for Belize to support the implementation of the Unemployment Relief Program.

Economic forecasts

IMF/World Bank - World Economic Outlook Growth Projections for 2020 and 2021 (released April 14, 2020)

Latin America and the Caribbean

2019: 0.1%
2020: -5.2%
2021: 3.4%


2019: 1.1%
2020: -5.3%
2021: 2.9%


2019: -0.1%
2020: -6.6%
2021: 3.0%


COLOMBIA: May 4: Colombia's Central Bank said in a policy report released on Monday May 4, that it predicts the economy will contract between 2% and 7% in 2020.

BRAZIL: May 13: Brazil's government lowers 2020 GDP forecast. Expects contraction of 4.7% with recovery to pre-crisis levels of December 2019 not occurring until 2022. Bank of America said it expects a deeper economic downturn in Brazil in 2020, forecasting now a 7.7% contraction from the previous forecast for 3.5% contraction. Maintains 3.5% GDP growth in 2021.

May 19: Goldman Sachs forecasts Latin America's economy to contract 7.6% in 2020, doubling from March 27 forecast of a 3.8% decline. Prior to the pandemic it was calling for growth of 1.6%. During the 2009 financial crisis, the region's economy contracted 2.1%. It contracted 2.4% during the 1983 debt crisis.

GDP forecast update by country:

Argentina -8.5% (May 19) from -5.4% (March 27. Prior to the crisis it was -1%) 

Brazil to -7.4% (May 19) from -3.4% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was 2.2%) 

Chile to -4.4 (May 19) from -3% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was 1%) 

Colombia to -6.0% (May 19) from -2.5% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was 3.4%) 

Ecuador to -7.5% (May 19) from -5.7% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was -0.3%) 

Mexico to 8.5% (May 19) from -4.3% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was 1%)

Peru to -8.0% (May 19) from -2.5% (March 27 forecast. Prior to the crisis it was 3.3%)

June 8: World Bank forecasts Latin America's economy to contract 7.2% in 2020. Forecasts of major economies:

Argentina: -7.3%

Brazil: -8%

Chile: -4.3%

Colombia: -4.9%

Ecuador: -7.4%

Mexico: -7.5%

Peru: -12%

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