Finance & Capital Market

AMF extends $1.3bn aid to Arab countries in H1

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) has provided financial resources valued at $1.3 billion in the form of new loans or withdrawals on existing loans to Arab countries during the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020, a top official said.

Dr Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al Hamidi, Director-General and Chairman of AMF, made the remark in his opening speech at the 44th edition of the Council of Governors of the Arab Central Banks and Monetary Authorities, which was held remotely this year, reported Emirates news agency Wam.

"The global economy is facing the worst economic crisis after the Great Depression caused by a variety of factors, most notably the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, growing trade tensions between major economies and rising debt levels, which have affected both advanced and developing economies and are reflected in forecasts related to global economic growth that predict a recession in 2020, with a global economic decline of 0.5 percent, or 0.8 percent for advanced economies and 0.3 percent for emerging and developing economies,” Dr Al Hamidi said.

The meeting was attended by governors of central banks and Arab monetary foundations, as well as senior officials from European Central Bank, ECB, Bank for International Settlements, BIS, International Monetary Fund, IMF, World Bank, WB, Bank of France, and the Financial Action Task Force, FATF.

It was also attended by representatives of the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, Secretariat-General, the Union of Arab Banks, the Union of Arab Securities Authorities, and the Financial Action Task Force in the Middle East and North Africa as observers, in addition to Arab executive directors from the IMF and WB.

Al Hamidi noted that AMF statistics highlight an overall economic decline in Arab countries of 0.4 percent in 2020, compared to a growth of 1.6 percent in 2019, resulting from the pandemic.