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Niger staffs may benefit from IMF $53mln disbursement in June

After a first programme review, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to disburse $53 million to Niger state, if approved in June, after reaching a staff-level agreement.

According to IMF, the staff-level agreement is subject to approval from IMF management and the executive board expected to meet in June, which after the review’s completion it would allow the disbursement to cover external financing needs

IMF added that the program performance which ended in March 2022 was broadly satisfactory and most quantitative macroeconomic objectives were met which prompted the new contract.

It added that the Economic growth is projected to rebound to 6.9% in 2022 from 1.3% in 2021 on the back of agricultural production and large-scale investment projects relating to an oil pipeline to Benin, in which the inflation remains elevated due to food price pressures.

Earlier in December, the IMF approved a three-year loan deal for Niger worth around $276 million, which was meant to help state recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Niger lies in the semi-arid Sahel region, where armed Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have destabilized swathes of territory in recent years. They have carried out regular attacks that have killed thousands of people and displaced millions.

Niger has also ranked last out of 189 countries in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which measures health, education and quality of life.

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