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IMF Executive Board Approves US$43 Million Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for the Union of the Comoros

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International Monetary Fund (IMF)
01 Jun, 2023, 20:28 ET

WASHINGTON, 01 June 2023 / PRN Africa / -- The IMF Executive Board approves SDR 32.04 million (about US$43 million) 4-year ECF arrangement for Comoros. This decision will enable an immediate disbursement equivalent to SDR 3.56 million (about US$4.73 million).

The ECF-supported program will help preserve Comoros’ macroeconomic stability and implement the authorities’ plans for fiscal consolidation, financial sector stabilization, and governance and anti-corruption reforms.

Program measures aim to reduce economic and institutional fragilities and create fiscal space for needed investments in human and physical capital. Continued support from Comoros’ international partners, both in terms of financing and capacity development, will be critical for the success of the program.

 

Washington, DC: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a 4-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of SDR 32.04 million (about US$43 million) for the Union of the Comoros. The Executive Board’s decision allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR 3.56 million (about US$4.73 million).

 

The ECF arrangement follows the completion of the Staff-Monitored Program in April 2023 and represents the first financing engagement with the IMF since 2013. The ECF arrangement is expected to catalyze additional bilateral and multilateral financial support for Comoros’ reform program.

Successive external shocks in recent years have exacerbated already fragile economic conditions in Comoros. The surge in global commodity prices and transportation costs during 2022 severely impacted households’ purchasing powers in this import-dependent island economy and substantially worsened the fiscal outlook. These shocks have coincided with increased fiscal and debt service needs, as well as the expiration of pandemic-era support and retrenchment in international aid, which have significantly tightened financing constraints.

 

The ECF arrangement helps preserve the reform momentum started under the SMP and aims to address sources of fragility in Comoros, including low domestic revenue, an under-capitalized banking sector, and governance weaknesses. Key policy commitments include (i) mobilizing domestic revenue supported by reforms to strengthen tax and customs administration and streamline tax exemptions; (ii) completing the restructuring of the state-owned postal bank SNPSF and enhancing the Central Bank’s banking supervision and resolution capacities; and (iii) strengthening governance through public financial management and anti-corruption reforms.

 

At the conclusion of the Executive Board’s discussion, Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Comoros has experienced several shocks, including a natural disaster, in recent years. The multiplicity of these shocks has adversely affected economic growth and fiscal sustainability while hampering the government’s ability to implement needed reforms. The country faces significant development challenges stemming from low fiscal revenue, insufficient public investment in human and physical capital, and vulnerability to shocks. Institutional fragility is manifest in weak governance and limited policy implementation capacity.

To address long-term structural issues, the Comorian authorities have embarked on a reform program supported by the IMF and other international partners. This Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, which builds on progress under the recently completed Staff-Monitored Program, is the first Upper Credit Tranche-quality arrangement with the IMF in ten years.

 

Under the ECF program, the authorities aim to tackle long-term structural weaknesses such as inadequate fiscal revenue, an undercapitalized banking system, and corruption vulnerabilities, which are obstacles to the government’s ability to invest in human and physical capital and the private sector’s ability to thrive. Fiscal consolidation to reduce debt sustainability risks and create space for development spending will be underpinned by fiscal structural reforms to mobilize domestic revenue. To improve financial sector stability, the authorities are committed to strengthening banking supervision and resolution capacities while restructuring the postal bank Société Nationale des Postes et des Services Financiers (SNPSF) to limit fiscal contingent liabilities going forward. Continued efforts to strengthen governance and accountability, including the adoption of the revised anti-corruption law, will be key to improve the overall business climate.

 

Strong and timely support from donors, complemented by IMF disbursements, is critical. Given the sizeable financing needs over the coming years, the authorities need to intensify their effort to mobilize financial support, including through good progress in the reform implementation. The reform program and financing supported by the ECF will continue to play a catalytic role.”

 

 

SOURCE International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Tags:IMF Executive Board Approves US$43 Million Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for the Union of the Comoros
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