Thursday February 29, 2024

IMF urges DR Congo to cut budget

February 27, 2020

KINSHASA: The IMF voiced concern Wednesday over DR Congo´s 2020 budget and urged its central bank to stop drawing down foreign currency reserves and advancing money to the government.

In late December, the International Monetary Fund granted $368 million in credit to the Democratic Republic of Congo to deal with urgent balance-of-payments problems. That same month, the country´s draft 2020 budget was estimated to be the equivalent of $10.59 billion, for a nation of around 80 million, of whom two-thirds live on less than $2 per day.

On Wednesday, IMF staff, after a fact-finding mission, issued a statement expressing "concerns arising from spending pressures and lackluster revenue, which have resulted in renewed central bank advances to the government and erosion of its foreign reserves." The "mission stressed the need to put immediately a stop to central bank advances and repay those given," it said.

The fund did welome a "Treasury Plan" published by the finance ministry, which it considered "consistent with realistic revenue projections."