KINSHASA, May 28 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it had made a staff-level agreement for a three-year $1.5 billion extended credit facility with Democratic Republic of Congo to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement requires approval from IMF management and by the IMF Executive Board.
Despite an almost 10% expansion of Congo’s extractive sector last year, the economy is estimated to have grown by only 1.7%, and is projected to expand by 4.9 percent in 2021, the IMF said in a statement. Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt.
Congo’s battle with COVID-19 badly dented public finances, with inflation peaking at 15.7% year-on-year in August 2020, alongside a sharp depreciation of the Congolese franc, the IMF said.
“Fiscal policy under the program is geared towards increasing domestic revenue mobilization,” the IMF said.
“Improving governance and fighting against corruption are critical, with continued emphasis on the management of extractive resources, on improving public financial management, and on fighting money laundering.”
(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alex Richardson and Catherine Evans)