IMF reaches accord with Mali to revive aid

2014-09-26 08:20
Mali refugees. (File, AFP)

Mali refugees. (File, AFP)

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Bamako - The International Monetary Fund has reached an agreement with Mali that could restart aid to the West African nation after it was suspended by IMF and the World Bank earlier this year, a head of mission to the country said on Thursday.

The Bretton Woods institutions halted nearly $70m in financing after the IMF expressed concern in May over Mali's purchase of a $40m presidential jet and inflated spending on military supplies.

"We have reached an agreement to move forward", Christian Josz told a news conference in the Malian capital Bamako. "We are in a position to recommend that the IMF board of directors conclude the first and second review programmes."

Josz said an audit had revealed over-billing of $56.55m in the military contract and other shortcomings in the awarding of the contract.

"Mali is now committed towards transparency. It is up to the government to implement the recommendations of the various reports and identify perpetrators of the over-billing", Josz said.

The IMF, which helps countries with policy advice and also sometimes lends to help with balance of payment difficulties, reached an agreement with Mali on new spending rules and also on the amendment of Mali's 2014 budget to correct the over-billing.

Mali secured over $4bn in donor pledges last year to rebuild after twin crises in 2012. In the first, Malian soldiers ousted the president, and in the second, a mix of separatist and al-Qaeda-linked rebels seized the country's desert north.

Read more on:    imf  |  world bank  |  mali  |  west africa

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