IMF staff concludes Liberian review mission

A Liberian review mission by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrapped up Oct. 30. 

Carlo Sdralevich conducted a review of the Liberian government's economic program, which is backed by the IMF, and conducted its Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for 11 days.

"The IMF mission focused on issues concerning economic performance under the program, the near-term economic challenges, and the policy program for 2015-16 and beyond," Sdralevich said. "The IMF mission and the Liberian authorities reached staff-level understandings on a set of economic policies detailed in an updated Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) that would allow for the completion of the fourth review of the ECF."

The mission also revealed that even though Ebola was defeated in Liberia, the nation is still feeling the economic strain caused by the outbreak.

“Reflecting the scaling up of spending to address the Ebola epidemic, the overall government deficit (including off-budget expenditures) increased to 8.1 percent of GDP in FY2015 from 1.9 percent of GDP in FY2014, even though tax revenue collection held up despite the emergency," Sdralevich said. "The mission expresses its deep appreciation to the authorities and technical staff for their excellent cooperation and the quality of the policy dialogue.”

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