IMF approves $487.5m aid to Angola

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The International Monetary Fund's executive board announced on Monday it had approved the disbursement of $487.5 million to Angola, which is suffering from low oil prices due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial aid is part of a three-year agreement for about $3.7 billion (the value at the time) that was approved on 7 December 2018 under the IMF's Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The EFF provides for longer IMF support for a program, as well as longer repayment terms for loans.

Monday's disbursement brings the IMF to a total of nearly $3 billion granted in aid to the southwestern African country, which has significant oil and mineral wealth, but a large part of its population lives in poverty.

The three-year plan "aims to restore external and fiscal sustainability, improve governance, and diversify the economy to promote sustainable, private sector-led economic growth," the IMF said in a statement.

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The Washington-based lender noted that the economic shock brought on by the coronavirus pandemic "continues to negatively impact Angola's economy and population.

"Oil production and prices remain weak, and the health and social impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt," the group said.

After a fourth review of Angola's economy under the three-year program, the IMF said that despite this difficult environment, "the authorities... remain resolutely committed to the program.

"The authorities achieved a prudent fiscal adjustment in 2020 that included non-oil revenue gains and restraint in non-essential expenditure, while preserving essential spending on health and social safety nets," the IMF concluded in approving the disbursement.

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