IMF approves $87 million budget support for Republic of Congo
- IMF said the Republic of Congo’s structural reforms are advancing.
- The fund expressed optimism that the Congolese authorities will focus the country’s fiscal policy towards reducing fragilities.
- The three-year financing programme is designed to help the Republic of Congo maintain macroeconomic stability.
By JAMES ANYANZWA
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved $87 million budgetary support to the Republic of Congo following the conclusion of the second review of the country’s social-economic and political reform progress under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
The financing is part of a $455 million ECF programme which the fund approved on January 21, 2022, leading to an immediate disbursement of $90 million.
The three-year financing programme is designed to help the Republic of Congo maintain macroeconomic stability and support economic recovery in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, including by catalysing financial support from official donors.
In a statement on Monday, the IMF said the Republic of Congo’s structural reforms are advancing, especially in procurement, management of public finances and debt and publication of a decree on conflict of interests.
The Fund however noted that four out of five performance criteria related to the fiscal position and debt were not observed, some substantially, but corrective measures have been taken to address these breaches.
“Economic recovery is expected to further strengthen in 2023, with improved oil production and government spending on development,” said IMF.
“Over the medium-term, the role of the non-oil private sector is projected to grow along with jobs and income levels.”
The fund expressed optimism that the Congolese authorities will focus the country’s fiscal policy towards reducing fragilities while maintaining debt sustainability.
“Development spending and payment of domestic arrears will be accelerated owing to the resources freed from reduced fuel subsidies in line with gradual fuel price deregulation,” said IMF.
“They will be coupled with targeted social assistance to protect the vulnerable. Concurrently, fiscal consolidation will be supported by revenue mobilisation, including reducing exemptions received by oil-related state-owned enterprises.”