Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a $1 billion agreement with Uganda for a three-year loan under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The staff-level agreement is subject to IMF management approval and Executive Board consideration, which is expected in the coming weeks.
The IMF announced the agreement on Tuesday, after a its staff team led by Mr. Amine Mati conducted virtual missions to Uganda from February 2-March 5 and from May 25-May 28, 2021 to discuss a 36-month program under the Extended Credit Facility.
“Uganda’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that eroded people’s livelihoods. Growth has halved compared to pre-crisis levels and poverty has increased, reversing decade-long gains in wealth creation and inclusion despite the support measures introduced by the authorities,” IMF said in a statement.
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It added that “the fiscal deficit has widened considerably, pushing public debt close to 50 percent of GDP by June 2021 and increasing financing costs.”
It said emergency financial assistance from the IMF and the World Bank helped close financing gaps and supported mitigation measures, but important fiscal and external financing needs remain over the next few years.