Press Release: IMF Completes Second Review of PRGF Arrangement for Albania

July 15, 2003

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized its earlier in-principle approval of the completion of the second review of Albania's economic performance under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement (see Press Release No. 03/102). This decision followed the World Bank Executive Board's review of the Annual Progress Report of Albania's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) on July 10, 2003. Albania will now be able to draw SDR 4 million (about US$6 million) from the IMF.

The three-year PRGF arrangement was approved on June 21, 2002 (see News Brief No. 02/52) for a total of SDR 28 million (about US$39 million). So far, Albania has drawn SDR 8 million (about US$11 million) under the arrangement.

The PRGF is the IMF's concessional facility for low-income countries. It is intended that PRGF-supported programs will in time be based on country-owned poverty reduction strategies adopted in a participatory process involving civil society and development partners, and articulated in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). This is intended to ensure that each PRGF-supported program is consistent with a comprehensive framework for macroeconomic, structural, and social policies to foster growth and reduce poverty. PRGF loans carry an annual interest rate of 0.5 percent, and are repayable over 10 years with a 5 ½-year grace period on principal payments.


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