The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has disclosed that its Executive Board has approved a ninety-five point nine million dollars facility for Sierra Leone. The press release issued by the IMF states that the facility is a “three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility for Sierra Leone equivalent to sixty-two point twenty-two million Special Drawing Rights or ninety-five point nine million dollars.
The release further reveals that the overall amount of the program represents sixty percent of Sierra Leone’s quota in the IMF and enables the immediate disbursement of about thirteen point seven million.
The release adds that the ECF-supported program seeks to underpin the government’s economic program and aims to facilitate high-quality public investment and growth enhancing reforms in the context of macroeconomic stability. Following the Executive Board’s discussion, the Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair IMF Min Zhu said Sierra Leone has achieved strong macroeconomic gains in recent years. Bolstered by iron production, economic growth has been robust, while inflation has been falling on the back of a tight monetary stance, a stable exchange rate, and lower food prices.
He described that the medium-term outlook as favourable, with policy focused on achieving strong broad-based growth, further disinflation, and an improved external position.”
The authorities’ plans to strengthen public financial management appropriately aimed to enhance revenue mobilization, improve spending controls, and reduce domestic debt. Key revenue components in their fiscal strategy include improvements in tax administration, reductions in tax exemptions, and the adoption of a comprehensive fiscal regime for the natural resources sector.
According to the release, Sierra Leone has made significant progress in the implementation of the ECF-supported program that was cancelled prior to its expiration at end-June. Reform measures and policies put in place have helped improve macroeconomic stability, advance social policies, and enhance prospects for broad and inclusive growth.