The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on March 17 rejected Venezuela's request for a $5 billion loan to help the economically devastated country fight the novel coronavirus outbreak. This comes a day after IMF's managing director Kristalina Georgieva in a blog post said that the global lender stands ready to mobilise its $1 trillion lending capacity to help member countries.
According to reports, the IMF cited a lack of international recognition and clarity on President Nicolas Maduro's government in its denial statement. President Nicolas Maduro had reportedly requested the loan earlier in the day when he said would help his government fight the global pandemic. The United States and 50 other countries have refused to recognise Maduro's government for more than a year.
President Donald Trump in his this year's state of the union address officially recognised the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela. However, Maduro still enjoys the support of the country's military and some global creditors like China and Russia.
According to reports, Venezuela has suffered a massive socioeconomic and political blow in the form of hyperinflation, escalating starvation and political instability since Maduro took over as President in 2013. Opposition leaders have accused Maduro of rigging the 2018 presidential election, including countries from North America, Latin America, and Western Europe who have put tough sanctions on him.
As per data acquired by worldometer, there are currently 33 cases of coronavirus in Venezuela. There have been no deaths in the country so far due to coronavirus, according to the data. The COVID-19 has claimed more than 7,900 lives across the world and has infected over 1,98,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.