Q24N (EFE) The Government of Guatemala announced a “national emergency plan” of more than US$872 million dollars to alleviate the economic effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February in the country.
During the presentation of the program, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said that the plan was defined by a “crisis committee” because the Guatemalan economy “is already beginning to suffer from the conflict” despite the positive figures in macroeconomic indices.
“There will be less global growth, which will reduce direct foreign investment and possibly affect the sending of family remittances,” warned the president.
The plan announced this Thursday, according to Giammattei, contains fiscal, social, monetary and credit policies, as well as international cooperation in the short and medium term.
“The objective is to counteract the economic effects arising from the war and prevent shortages of basic grains,” explained the head of state, but also to continue dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, given that cases have increased in the weeks, Giammattei added.
The president of the Banco de Guatemala (central), Sergio Recinos, was present this Thursday at the announcement by the Government and will be the coordinator of the “crisis committee.
Recinos commented that, although the country has been able to face external “shocks” such as the covid-19 pandemic, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is generating higher world inflation.
In Guatemala, inflation reached 5.82% in May and in the United States, which is the main commercial social of the Central American country, it is at 8%, Recinos noted.
The official said that it has not been possible to quantify the amount of the effects caused by the war, but “measures must be taken to alleviate the crisis, especially the exorbitant increase in oil and food that has been transferred to inflation.”
“The plan is to mitigate the negative impacts on the most vulnerable population, build confidence in economic agents to boost consumption, investment and employment,” said the president of the central bank.
Recinos explained that the plan includes 28 specific measures, including social protection, the temporary subsidy for propane gas and fuels, and the prevention of product shortages.
The cost of the emergency plan is 6,743 million quetzales (872.31 million dollars) and includes the release of import quotas for basic consumer products without tariffs such as corn, beans and rice, among others.
In Guatemala, according to official figures, 59% of its 18 million inhabitants live below the poverty line and almost 20% try to survive in conditions of extreme poverty.