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Bahrain adds $470M in coronavirus impact spending to 2020 budget

Medical staff are seen in the newly-inaugurated intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital in Riffa, near the capital Manama, on 14 April, 2020 [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images]
Medical staff are seen in the newly-inaugurated intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital in Riffa, near the capital Manama, Bahrain on 14 April, 2020 [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images]

Bahrain will add around 177 million dinars ($470 million) to its 2020 state budget in emergency spending on fighting the new coronavirus pandemic, state news agency BNA said on Monday, reporting a royal decree.

To this end, $450 million will be taken as a one-time deduction from the Future Generations Fund (FGF), a fund set up in 2006 to reinvest hydrocarbon revenues, and allocated to this year’s state budget, another new decree said.

The decrees also announced a temporary halt to the allocation of oil revenues to the FGF until the end of 2020.

READ: COVID-19 deaths surge in Oman, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait

The small oil-producing Gulf state was bailed out in 2018 with a $10 billion aid package from wealthy Gulf neighbours to avoid a credit crunch and has been working to plug its budget deficit.

Bahrain has reported just under 33,000 cases of infection with the coronavirus and 108 deaths.

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