Sierra Leone to get $46 million in IMF aid through ECF arrangement

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After recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviews of Sierra Leone's economic performance as part of a three-year Extended Credit Facility arrangement with the IMF, the nation will receive a distribution of $46.1 million.

The review was conducted by representatives from the IMF's executive board. It was part of a Extended Credit Facility (ECF) that began on Oct. 21, 2013. The total distribution of the ECF will total just over $64.5 million.

“With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Sierra Leone Ebola-free on Nov. 7, the country now faces the difficult challenge of economic recovery," Min Zhu, IMF Executive Board deputy managing director and acting chairman, said. "Complicating that task, the decline in iron-ore prices has led to the shutdown of the main iron-ore mines, with consequent sharp declines in GDP and exports, and reduced fiscal revenues.

“As a result, the fiscal challenges in 2016 will be substantial," Zhu said. "It will be critical for the authorities to ensure sufficient revenues and financing to cover priority spending, especially for the post-Ebola Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS). This will require strong moves on tax policies and continued efforts on tax administration. Containing the wage bill will also be critical to increase the resources available for the ERS, which will be strengthened by enhancing the transparency and efficiency of expenditures."

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