Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said on Saturday that preventive measures to stem the spread of the pandemic had caused “great damage” to the country’s economy, also facing the collapse in oil prices.
“Algeria is facing an unprecedented difficult economic situation due to several factors, including the structural crisis inherited from the former government, the fall in oil prices and finally the crisis due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus,” said Mr. Djerad quoted by the official agency Aps.
He was speaking at a government meeting with social partners and economic operators during which the Minister of Finance, Aymen BenAbderahmane, announced that the losses of public enterprises totaled more than 879 million euros. Private sector losses have not yet been quantified.
According to him, these losses particularly affected companies in the transport (135 million euros) and energy (188 million euros) sectors.
Faced with the serious financial crisis that threatens the country due to the fall in oil prices, the Algerian government had already decided at the beginning of May to halve the state’s operating budget.
Algeria is particularly exposed to fluctuations in the price of the barrel due to its dependence on oil revenues – which represents more than 90% of its external revenues – and the low diversification of its economy.
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According to IMF forecasts, this country is expected to experience a recession in 2020 (-5.2%) as well as a budget deficit among the highest in the region due to the oil crisis and the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has ruled out, in the name of “national sovereignty”, contracting loans from the IMF and international financial organizations.
A commission to assess the impact caused by the pandemic of the new Coronavirus on the national economy was installed on Saturday according to Aps.
Algeria has broken in recent days several daily records of recorded cases (+601 Saturday). In total, nearly 22,549 cases of Covid-19 have been officially recorded on Algerian soil since the first case on February 25, including 1,068 deaths.