The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of an amount equivalent to Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of 10 million (about US$15.1 million) for Mali under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).
An IMF statement, made available to PANA in New York on Monday, said the disbursement would help the authorities meet their urgent balance of payments needs and support their economic programme in 2013 and re-engagement with donors during the transition toward a new elected government.
It said that the RCF provided rapid concessional financial assistance with limited conditionality to low-income countries facing an urgent balance of payments need.
It quoted Mr. Min Zhu, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Board Chairman, as saying that Mali’s economy iwa emerging from a recession caused by the security and political crisis in 2012.
“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,” he noted.
Zhu, however, said that the economic situation in Mali remained fragile and fraught with risks.
He said the Malian authorities deserved praise for their skillful management of the economy under very difficult circumstances, adding that the government’s fiscal prudence had helped maintain broad economic stability.
“With the announcement of significant international financial support for Mali at the recent donor conference in Brussels, the challenge will be to ensure effective deployment of these additional resources in line with the country’s near and medium-term priorities of peace consolidation and development,” Zhu stated.
The IMF official also said that strengthening public financial management was essential for sustained economic and fiscal stability.
Zhu said the steps taken to strengthen cooperation and information exchange between the tax, customs and procurement administrations would help improve tax auditing and bolster tax revenue over time.
He said that the clearance of all outstanding external and domestic arrears by year-end would support the recovery.
“The ongoing energy sector reform is expected to alleviate the fiscal burden and boost growth and poverty reduction. The authorities need to secure public support for the reform through open and transparent communications and targeted measures to protect the poor,” he added.