IMF board approves loan for Mali

Published: 11 June 2013
Washington - The IMF's executive board on Monday approved $15.1 million for Mali to support its economic programme and help the strife-torn West African nation re-engage with other donors, the Fund said.

The money comes under the International Monetary Fund's Rapid Credit Facility, which helps countries with an urgent balance of payments crisis, and should send a signal to other donors that Mali's economy is on the right path.

The economy of Mali, one of the world's poorest countries, has picked up this year after a French-led military intervention to help the government halt advances by Islamist rebels.

Donors resumed budget support and project aid to Mali earlier this year after suspending assistance since the country's March 2012 coup. Last month donors pledged 3.25 billion euros ($4 billion) to help Mali recover from the conflict.

But the IMF said the country, a leading producer of gold and cotton, still faced risks, and it was important that donor funds be used properly to help Mali develop and return to peace.

"The adoption of the road map toward presidential and parliamentary elections in July, the restoration of government control over the full territory with the help of foreign military intervention, and the return of donor support are helping set the stage for a resumption of growth," Min Zhu, IMF deputy managing director, said in a statement.

"However, the economic situation remains fragile and fraught with risks."

The Fund also said Mali's energy sector reform, and the clearance of all outstanding debts by the end of the year, should help support the government's finances. But in the future, the government should do a better job of keeping track of its cash, the IMF said.

The IMF last approved a $18.4 million loan to Mali in January to help stabilise the economy.

- Reuters
Tags: Mali, IMF,


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