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IMF grants Mali $22.8 million emergency loan

Published on Jan 29, 2013 5:54 AM
A child stand next to his house destroyed by a French airstrike on January 27, 2013 in Lere. French-led forces on Janaury 28, 2012 seized Mali's fabled desert city of Timbuktu in a lightning advance north as fleeing Islamists torched a building housing priceless ancient manuscripts.-- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund agreed Monday to provide an US$18.4 million (S$22.4 million) emergency loan to Mali, a move likely to lead other donors to release more funds after having cut off aid following the March 2012 coup.

The IMF executive board approved the loan under the Rapid Credit Facility aiming to help the government bridge a huge budget hole as its fights off an Islamist insurgency with French help.

Mali mission chief Christian Josz said the fund was confident that the country, battered by drought, the March coup and a rebellion by Islamist militants in the north, would stick to efforts at reducing its fiscal deficit and implementing economic reforms.

"We decided to go ahead with the board meeting (to decide the loan) in spite of the foreign military intervention because we could see that the authorities were still committed and eager to implement their programme of fiscal prudence."

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