IMF assess utilization progress of $20m loan to Malawi

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A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in Malawi to assess how the country used a US$20 million loan released by the international financial institution under Extended Credit Facility (ECF) early this year.

“The IMF mission team which is currently in the country, will among other things, take stock of programme implementation under the ECF arrangement and prepare the ground for resumption of discussions later in the year,” said IMF resident representative in Malawi, Geoffrey Oestreicher.

Oestreicher said the IMF would only be able to disburse the next tranche under the ECF loan to Malawi in 2015.

Last month IMF also urged the new Malawi government to implement policies that support economic recovery and also lower inflation.

Opposition leader, Peter Mutharika, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and brother of Malawi’s former leader won the country’s presidential election in May; with the defeated incumbent president Joyce Banda claiming the election was marred with “serious irregularities”.

The economy of Malawi is predominantly agricultural, with about 90 percent of the population living in rural areas and agriculture contributing 37 percent to GDP. The sector is also responsible for 85 percent of export revenues.

The landlocked country in southern Africa ranks among the world’s least developed countries.

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