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Lusa - Business News - Angola: IMF releases $487.5M as country struggles with pandemic, oil slump




ashington, 12 Jan 2021(Lusa)-The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this Monday announced the release of $487.5 million (e401.3 million) for Angola, as the country struggles with the effects of the pandemic and low revenues from its main export, oil.

The IMF's executive board on Monday "completed the fourth review of Angola’s economic program supported by an extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)," the institution said in a statmente. "The Board’s decision allows for an immediate disbursement of ... about $487.5 million, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to ... about $3 billion.

The three-year agreement for Angola was approved on 7 December 2018, in the amount of around $3.7 billion, to restore external and fiscal sustainability, improve governance, and diversify the economy to promote sustainable economic growth, led by the private sector.

At the last review, the third, the IMF also approved the authorities' request for an increase of $765 million to support the authorities' efforts to mitigate the impact of covid-19 and sustain the implementation of structural reform.

Now, the IMF notes, "the multifaceted nature of the COVID-19 shock continues to negatively impact Angola’s economy and population [and] oil production and prices remain weak.

However, the Washington-based institution notes that the Angolan authorities "achieved a prudent fiscal adjustment in 2020 that included non-oil revenue gains and restraint in non-essential expenditure, while preserving essential spending on health and social safety nets" and that the "passage of the 2021 budget in December consolidates these gains."

This fourth review also found that the authorities have "allowed the exchange rate to act as a shock absorber and have begun to implement a gradual shift towards monetary tightening to address rising price pressures."

The institution "also approved today the authorities’ request for waivers of applicability and nonobservance of performance criteria and modification of some performance criteria, indicative targets, and structural benchmarks," the IMF announced, without providing details.

Its deputy managing director, Antoinette Sayeh, is quoted as saying that "despite the challenges from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Angolan authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment to sound policies under the IMF-supported arrangement" and that their "robust policy response has enabled Angola to weather large external shocks, most notably lower oil revenues, and mitigate their macroeconomic impact while protecting the most vulnerable."

She adds that "the stabilisation of public finances remains the cornerstone of the authorities' strategy" but warns that "continuing progress in financial sector reforms is critical, particularly completing the restructuring of the two troubled public banks."

She concludes by a saying that the authorities "also need to maintain momentum in other structural reforms that support stronger diversified growth, enhance governance, and combat corruption.”



JMC/ARO // ARO.

Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-01-13 10:17:00







 

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