Bolivia decrees state of public calamity for COVID-19

Bolivia decrees state of public calamity for COVID-19

© Aizar RALDES
Health professionals and police officers in protective suits in Bolivia, July 18, 2020

On Monday (27), the interim government of Bolivia decreed a state of “public calamity” throughout the country, allowing more resources to be allocated to face the pandemic.

“Public calamity has been declared throughout the territory of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to address the unavoidable needs of an economic nature caused by the negative effects of the coronavirus,” announced the decree published in the Official Gazette.

The provision was approved on Friday by the office of interim president Jeanine Áñez, who received this second medical discharge after recovering from an asymptomatic condition of COVID-19.

The decree did not reveal the amounts and sources of funding, but the Constitution allows the president to “enact payments not authorized by budget law, solely to meet the unavoidable needs stemming from public calamities”.

The public calamity was decreed while the Executive and Legislative powers are fighting, at a time when the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party of ex-President Evo Morales (2006-2019), which has a majority in Parliament, refuses to approve. a $ 327 million credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Áñez urged Congress last week to approve the IMF credit to pay an aid of 500 Bolivians (approximately $ 72) to about three million people affected by the quarantine, in effect since March.

Senate President Eva Copa of MAS responded to Áñez that lawmakers will not “act under pressure or blackmail”.

This Monday, a meeting between the government and Congress failed to analyze the IMF credit, called by the Ministry of the Presidency.

The opposition asked the government for a report on the $ 1.35 billion fate it “received in more than six credits and eight donations from national and international entities” to tackle the pandemic, according to MP Betty Yañiquez, from MAS.

With 11 million inhabitants, Bolivia has more than 69,000 infected with coronavirus and 2,583 deaths.



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