IMF Executive Board Completes Second Review Under ECF for Burkina Faso and Approves US$10.3 Million Disbursement

Press Release No. 11/283
July 15, 2011

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the second review of Burkina Faso’s economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The approval will enable an immediate disbursement in an amount equivalent to SDR 6.45 million (about US$10.3 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 20.354 million (about US$32.4million).

In completing the review, the Board approved a modification of a performance criterion on the overall budget deficit for end-June and end-December 2011. The ECF Arrangement for Burkina Faso was approved by the Board on June 14, 2010 (See Press Release No. 10/241).

Following the Executive Board's discussion, Ms. Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

“The Burkinabè authorities are to be commended for their implementation of the ECF-supported program. Sound policies, aided by improved global economic conditions, have supported an economic rebound and greater macroeconomic stability. Nonetheless, inflation pressures and social uncertainties pose risks to the near-term outlook.

“The authorities are committed to a prudent fiscal policy while accommodating additional spending on social priorities. In this regard, it will be important to implement revenue-enhancing measures, mobilize further external financing, and develop contingency plans in the event of revenue or financing shortfalls. The authorities are also encouraged to maintain a prudent debt policy and rely on grant and concessional financing to the extent possible.

“Growth-enhancing reforms and pro-poor programs will be essential to support the authorities’ objectives under the new poverty reduction strategy. Careful prioritization of programs and selection of investment will be critical, going forward, as well as additional steps to strengthen the cotton sector, broaden access to financial services, and further improve the business environment,” Ms. Shafik added.



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