- IMF - Ivory Coast - poverty
AFP - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday approved a three-year, 565.7-million-dollar poverty reduction loan for the Ivory Coast.
The loan, approved by the IMF's executive board, was aimed at "achieving sustainable growth, reducing poverty, and advancing the country's economic reform agenda," the international financial institution said in a statement.
Under the arrangement, called a poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF), the Ivory Coast would also be able to immediately draw the equivalent of 159.348 million of the IMF's special drawing rights (SDR), or about 241 million dollars.
"The Ivoirien (Ivorian) authorities are to be commended for the progress toward peace and the broadly satisfactory track record of performance under two emergency post-conflict assistance programs since 2007, in a difficult post-conflict and global economic environment," said John Lipsky, the board's acting chair.
"The continued and well-coordinated support of the international community remains critical for the program's success and Cote d'Ivoire's (Ivory Coast's) return to a path of sustained peace and economic recovery," added Lipsky, who is also the IMF's first deputy managing director.
The PRGF is the IMF's main loan facility for low-income countries, and is based on individual countries' poverty-reduction strategies. The loans have an annual interest rate of 0.5 percent and can be repaid over 10 years with a grace period of five and a half years on principal payments.
Poverty in the West African country has soared in the past 23 years, and almost half of the population lives on less than 1.36 dollars a day, a government study found in January.
The former French colony was sliced in half after a September 2002 coup attempt against Laurent Gbagbo led by Guillaume Soro's rebel New Forces.
Peace agreements singed in Ouagadougou in 2007 saw Soro become prime minister in a power-sharing government.