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IMF approves US$11.1m for Liberia

The Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved the disbursement to Liberia of an amount equivalent to Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of 7.382 million (about US$11.1 million).

The IMF Board’s decision was based on the completion of the first review of a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Liberia, an official statement said.

The IMF said that approval brought the total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 14.764 million (about US$22.1 million).

It also noted that, in completing the review, the Board approved a waiver for the non-observance of the performance criterion on the ceiling of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) gross direct credit to central government”.

It recalled that the ECF arrangement for Liberia for the equivalent of SDR 51.68 million (about US$78.9 million) was approved by the IMF’s Board on 19 November, 2012.

Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Board’s said: “Liberia is experiencing strong economic growth, driven mainly by mining, and rising activity in construction and services. Spillovers to the rest of the economy, however, remain limited.”

He stated that non-resource real GDP growth has slowed recently on the back of the sluggish pace of capital spending.

He said that continued commitment to strong policies and structural reforms under the Fund-supported programme was necessary to achieve broad-based growth, diversify the economy, reduce poverty, and create employment.

“The authorities have an ambitious medium-term development strategy – the Agenda for Transformation. This agenda focuses on scaling up strategic infrastructure investments, developing institutional and human resource capacity, deepening financial markets, and strengthening property rights,” the IMF noted.

The IMF said governance and transparency should continue to be strengthened, including
through a revised Petroleum Act and the new Revenue Authority.

“Enhancing financial oversight of state-owned enterprises, cleaning up of payrolls, further rolling out the financial information system, and the auditing of the government’s budget by the General Auditing Commission will be important going forward,” the IMF stressed.


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