IMF Approves US$95.9m ECF Arrangement for Sierra Leone

The Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Sierra Leone in an amount equivalent to Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of 62.22 million (about US$95.9 million).
An IMF statement obtained by PANA here Tuesday said the overall amount of the programme represented 60 percent of Sierra Leone’s quota in the IMF and enabled the immediate disbursement of SDR 8.89 million (about US$13.7 million).

‘The ECF-supported programme seeks to underpin the government’s economic programme and aims to facilitate high-quality public investment and growth enhancing reforms in the context of macroeconomic stability,’ it said.

The statement quoted Mr. Min Zhu, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Board’s Chair, as saying ‘Sierra Leone has achieved strong macroeconomic gains in recent years’.

‘Bolstered by iron production, economic growth has been robust, while inflation has
been falling on the back of a tight monetary stance, a stable exchange rate, and lower food prices,’ it said.

Mr. Min said the medium-term outlook was favourable, with policy focused on achieving strong broad-based growth, further disinflation, and an improved external position.

‘Continued efforts will be needed to strengthen policy implementation, particularly in the fiscal area. The authorities’ plans to strengthen public financial management appropriately aim to enhance revenue mobilisation, improve spending controls, and reduce domestic debt.

‘Key revenue components in their fiscal strategy include improvements in tax administration, reductions in tax exemptions, and the adoption of a comprehensive fiscal regime for the natural
resources sector,’ he added.

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