Costa Rica has informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it is interested in borrowing close to $700 million from a recently established fund to invest in infrastructure, according to the Central Bank.
The Central Bank reported on Friday that Costa Rican officials informed the IMF that the country hopes to be the first to obtain finance from the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST), which was launched in April.
“The Government is evaluating the conditions and opportunities to have access to these resources for infrastructure works,” the bank said.
The IMF launched the financing facility with the goal of helping low and middle-income countries tackle long-term challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
The IMF has said it plans to begin lending under the program by October.
Costa Rica reached a $1.78 billion agreement with the IMF in early 2021 to help the Central American country consolidate its finances after years of mounting debt. The IMF has so far disbursed nearly $570 million.
President Rodrigo Chaves, who took office in May just as Costa Rica’s debt was equivalent to 66.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has said he plans to strengthen the IMF program, but has not provided details.
IMF staff met for the first time with Chaves this month, and warned of a likely slowdown in Costa Rica’s economy this year amid external pressures including the ongoing pandemic and rising inflation.