WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said its executive board on Monday completed its first review of Mozambique’s three-year loan program, allowing for an immediate disbursement to Maputo of about $59.26 million.
The review brings total disbursements under the $456 million Extended Credit Facility program approved in May to about $150 million to date, the IMF said.
The IMF said Mozambique’s implementation of the loan program’s policy requirements was “strong,” despite a challenging global environment that has pushed inflation into the double digits due to high food and fuel prices.
It cited completion of government commitments in the areas of fiscal governance and anti-corruption.
The IMF projected Mozambique’s real GDP growth would accelerate to 5.0% in 2023 from a projected 3.8% in 2022 and 2.3% in 2021, driven by large liquefied natural gas project investments and a strong vaccination program that led to the full lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in July 2022.
The first liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique started production this month and is expected to improve Mozambique’s current account balance, the IMF said.
“Program performance has been strong, with all quantitative targets and the structural benchmark met at end-June,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Bo Li said in a statement.
“While the outlook remains positive, driven by large liquefied natural gas projects, significant risks remain, including from adverse climate events and fragile security situation. Governance weaknesses and debt vulnerabilities also pose challenges,” Li said, adding Mozambique still needed donor support and continued governance capacity development.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chris Reese)