IMF to Loan Burundi $260 Million

IMF to Loan Burundi $260 Million (News Central TV)

In an effort to support economic recovery and reforms, the International Monetary Fund,IMF said that it has approved a $261.7 million loan for Burundi, its first in eight years.

Following a visit by an IMF team to Burundi’s economic capital Bujumbura in February, the “staff-level agreement” for a 40-month credit facility for the impoverished country in central Africa was reached.

It aims to “support a push to restore external sustainability, strengthen debt sustainability, while supporting economic recovery from shocks and creating fiscal space for accelerated and inclusive growth,” the IMF said in statement late Monday.

The first IMF loan since 2015 still needs IMF management clearance, it added.

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Since a fatal political upheaval in 2015, Burundi has been experiencing economic doldrums, with a scarcity of foreign currency and shortages of essential products.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian war have compounded the problem in the nation, since agriculture is the foundation of the economy.

President Evariste Ndayishimiye

According to the IMF, real GDP growth is predicted to have slowed to 1.8 percent last year from 3.1 percent in 2021 but will pick up to 3.3 percent this year.

In the meantime, the fund reported that food prices were driving inflation, which was running at an average rate of 18.9 percent last year and 28.6 percent year-over-year at the end of January.

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“It is projected to remain high, at around 18 percent in 2023.”

Both the European Union and the United States restored aid supplies last year despite reservations about Burundi’s human rights record, citing political advancements made under President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

Ndayishimiye has won accolades for gradually putting an end to Burundi’s isolationism during the turbulent and murderous administration of the country’s previous leader, Pierre Nkurunziza.

But, he has failed to improve its appalling human rights record, and according to World Bank data, the 12 million-person African Great Lakes nation continues to be the poorest on the planet.

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