South American countries to request $15 bln credit line from IADB -Peru’s Vizcarra

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LIMA, April 7  – Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said on Tuesday he was coordinating with other South American countries to request a line of credit from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) for at least $15 billion to combat the coronavirus.

Vizcarra said he met by videoconference on Monday with the presidents or foreign ministers of Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay to coordinate efforts.

Brazil and Argentina, although invited, did not participate, he said.

Several South American countries have promised to unleash unprecedented stimulus packages in order to buffer their economies from the impact of the pandemic. But the price tags for the packages are daunting.

Peru, for example, said in March it was preparing a massive relief package equal to about 12% of gross domestic product to boost the economy during and after the pandemic.

“This will require a lot of money from all the countries to meet the needs,” Vizcarra told a virtual news conference carried on television.

Vizcarra said the leaders agreed in the meeting that they would attempt to purchase scarce medical supplies in bulk, as a group, although he said pinning down the essentials would not be easy as competition intensifies.

“There´s no harm in trying, but it´s difficult,” he said.

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