Up to £150 million of new UK aid will go to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to help developing countries deal with the short term economic disruption caused by coronavirus, allowing them to focus their spending on tackling the outbreak.
Countries will receive support if they experience a severe decline in national income or falling government revenues as a result of coronavirus.
This will help lessen economic disruption, particularly where vulnerable countries might otherwise default on debt repayments and trigger further economic impacts.
COVID-19 has already had a major impact on oil prices and global stock markets in recent weeks.
The IMF fund is designed to lessen the disease’s future global economic impact, which will also safeguard the UK economy.
International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This support will make a very real difference to those countries which are most vulnerable to coronavirus. It will allow them to focus on battling this outbreak, which should be every country’s first priority.”
The International Monetary Fund set up the CCRT in 2015 to cope with economic shocks caused by natural disasters or public health emergencies. It successfully helped Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea respond to the Ebola crisis in 2015.
Meanwhile Uganda has increased travel restrictions to at least nine other countries currently being affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The latest travel restriction includes travellers from San Marino, Belgium, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Australia and Malaysia. Last weekend government put travel restrictions on seven countries; Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany and Spain.
According to the Health ministry, these countries have reported large cumulative numbers of infected persons. While others reported a high number of new cases in the last 24 hours.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister of Health says that travel to the 16 countries has been restricted because they pose a threat to Uganda.