IMF Executive Board Completes Third Review Under ECF Arrangement for Burkina Faso and Approves US$9.95 Million Disbursement

Press Release No. 11/482
December 21, 2011

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the third review of Burkina Faso’s economic performance under the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The completion of the review will enable the disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 6.45 million (about US$9.95 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 26.804 million (about US$41.36 million).

The three-year ECF Arrangement for Burkina Faso was approved by the Board on June 14, 2010 (See Press Release No. 10/241). The Executive Board also concluded the 2011 Article IV consultation with Burkina Faso today. A Public Information Notice will be published in due course.

Following the Executive Board’s discussion on Burkina Faso, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The Burkinabè authorities are to be commended for their steadfast implementation of policies and reforms supportive of macroeconomic stability and economic growth, despite a difficult social environment. Good performance in the agriculture, mining and services sectors have supported economic growth and price stability despite adverse trade and weather shocks. In addition, increased export production and prices have strengthened Burkina Faso’s external position in recent years.

“The Burkinabè authorities’ continued efforts to enhance revenue collection have increased fiscal space for much needed public investment and priority social spending. The authorities need to enhance these efforts and advance public financial management reforms to support medium-term fiscal consolidation.

“To build on recent progress and enhance medium-term prospects, the Burkinabè authorities will need to maintain the momentum of structural reforms to diversify economic activity and enhance competitiveness. In particular, they will need to push ahead with measures aimed at reducing transaction costs for the private sector, supporting financial sustainability in the cotton sector, and improving the business climate. Implementation of the financial sector development strategy should be accelerated, with a view to broadening access to financial services for small and medium-size enterprises.

“The ambitious public investment program underway, in accordance with the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, is critical to reduce the infrastructure gap and support broad-based growth. However, financing options for the investment budget will have to be weighed carefully, taking into account Burkina Faso’s high risk of debt distress.

“In view of the Burkinabè economy’s vulnerability to exogenous shocks that affect the most vulnerable in the population, the authorities need to place special emphasis on the preparation of a social safety net.”



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