Kenya eyes $244mln budget support from IMF

Kenya eyes $244mln budget support from IMF

A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings at a money exchange counter in Nairobi October 23, 2008. The Kenya shilling breached the important 80.00 level on Thursday reaching a near four-year low, despite assurances by the central bank, due to demand for dollars. At 0800 GMT, commercial banks traded the unit at 80.10/20 against the dollar compared with 79.40/50 at the close of trade on Wednesday. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna The International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans to release $244 million to Kenya to finance its budget “in the coming weeks” after its staff expressed their satisfaction with Nairobi’s economic reforms in the face of Covid-19.

The IMF said its staff are satisfied with the progress that the Kenyan government is making in its economic reform programmes, and the deal now awaits endorsement by the Fund’s management and board.

Kenya will access $244 million, bringing the total IMF support in a 38-month financing facility to $1.17 billion under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Extended Credit facility (ECF).

“The IMF staff team and the Kenyan authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on the third review of Kenya’s economic programme under the EFF and ECF arrangements. The agreement is subject to approval of IMF management and the Executive Board in the coming weeks. Upon completion of the Executive Board review, Kenya would have access to SDR 179.13 million (equivalent to about $244 million), bringing the total IMF financial support under these arrangements to SDR 865.77 million (equivalent to about $ 1,178 million),” said the IMF mission led by Mary Goodman.

SDR means Special Drawing Rights, an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.

In April 2021, the IMF Board approved a $2.34 billion three-year financing package for Kenya to help support the government’s Covid-19 response, enhance governance and reduce debt vulnerabilities while safeguarding resources to protect vulnerable groups.

Between March 31 and April 22 the IMF staff engaged Kenya to discuss progress on reforms and authorities’ policy priorities in the third review of Kenya’s economic programme supported by the EFF and ECF.

In a statement on April 25, Ms Goodman said the Kenyan economy has seen a robust recovery as the effects of the pandemic wane.“Spillover from the war in Ukraine are expected to have a modest impact on growth in the near term, as Kenya’s direct exposure to Russia and Ukraine is relatively limited,” she said.

Kenya was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, […]

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