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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Samoa’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. Samoa has shown resilience to multiple past economic shocks, underpinned by the authorities’ strong commitment to support the economy, and financial assistance provided by the international community. The global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has exacerbated the impact of the measles outbreak of late-2019 on Samoa’s economy. The border closure, combined with a sudden stop of tourist arrivals and decline in remittances, has led to a precipitous fall in two vital sources of foreign earnings and resulted in an urgent balance of payments need. Beyond the immediate response, the authorities will continue to implement structural reforms, with policies appropriately balanced between safeguarding debt sustainability and promoting economic growth. They also need to continue their efforts to enhance spending efficiency, strengthen social protection programs and safety nets, further improve tax administration, strengthen public financial management, and safeguard financial stability. Addressing vulnerability to climate change remains a key medium-term challenge to create a fiscal buffer.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

implementation of planned economic and fiscal measures. Policy Response to COVID-19 The authorities are fully committed to protecting Samoan citizens, providing necessary support to vulnerable businesses and households, and maintaining macroeconomic stability. To this end, Samoa was an early mover in restricting inbound travel and mobilized resources to begin health screening at borders. On April 7, Parliament passed the Government’s response package and the Second Supplementary appropriation of SAT$66.3 million (about 3 percent of GDP), to bolster health spending

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

the country is already facing deep economic and social challenges. Before the pandemic, growth was subdued, the fiscal deficit and public debt were rising, and international reserves declining, amid elevated unemployment and widespread poverty. The pandemic has resulted in a sharp decline in growth and generated large financing needs, magnifying these challenges. The authorities have swiftly instituted a response package to contain the spread of the pandemic and mitigate its impact on vulnerable households and businesses. The IMF emergency financial support will

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

countries, in collaboration with other international financial institutions. Directors welcomed the IMF’s crisis response package, in particular the enhancement of the emergency financing toolkit, provision of debt service relief for the poorest members, and fund-raising for the Catastrophe, Containment and Relief Trust.