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Press Release No. 03/137
August 4, 2003
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

IMF Welcomes Cameroon's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed Cameroon's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).

Cameroon's most recent Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement was approved in September 2002 (see News Brief No. 02/96). The PRGF is the IMF's concessional facility for low-income countries. PRGF-supported programs are based on country-owned poverty reduction strategies adopted in a participatory process involving civil society and development partners, and articulated in a PRSP. This approach is intended to ensure that PRGF-supported programs are consistent with a comprehensive framework for macroeconomic, structural, and social policies geared to fostering growth and reducing poverty.

At the conclusion of the Executive Board's discussion of Cameroon's PRSP on July 28, 2003, Ms. Anne Krueger, the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated:

"Cameroon's PRSP provides a comprehensive and coherent framework for guiding the implementation of the authorities' poverty reduction strategy in the context of macroeconomic stability. Its poverty diagnosis provides a revealing profile that will help prioritize poverty reduction policies. The medium-term expenditure framework identifies the priorities and needs of the country as it strives to reach the Millennium Development Goals. The participation of all stakeholders, strong leadership by the government, and immediate, renewed efforts at fiscal consolidation and structural reform will be required to achieve the ambitious objectives of the PRSP.

"In the period immediately ahead, the government will need to focus on the implementation of the policy measures to meet the completion point triggers for debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative. These measures will contribute to far-reaching structural changes that should improve the chances of success of social sector programs, promote private investment and growth, and make the private sector the main engine of growth.

"The effective channeling of the savings from the debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative to growth-enhancing and social development programs will determine the success of the PRSP and prospects for sustainable poverty reduction in Cameroon for the years to come.

"Cameroon's PRSP provides a sound basis for the Fund's concessional financial assistance and debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative, " Ms. Krueger stated.




IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

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