- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal has announced plans increase the IMF's financing in the framework of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement to Togo, to mitigate the impact of flooding and food and fuel price shocks in the west African nation.
Mr Portugal made the pledge at the end of a two-day visit to Togo on Monday September 01, where he held talks with president Faure Gnassingbé, and other senior government officials as well as representatives of donor community and civil society organisations.
He commended president Gnassingbé for remarkable progress Togo has made since 2006 in advancing economic reforms, particularly in the fiscal area. This, he said, has helped Togo normalise relations with its development partners, including through clearance of Togo's large arrears with World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB), a comprehensive debt relief agreement with Paris Club creditors, and approval of three-year, US$108 million PRGF arrangement with IMF in April 2008.
IMF boss also attended seminar for parliamentarians organised in collaboration with Parliament of Togo. This was the first such seminar in Togo, to which participants agreed that the seminar contributed to a broadening and deepening of mutual understanding of both the policy challenges facing Togo and work of the IMF.
His discussions with Togolese authorities touched on steps that need to be taken to deal with both the economic and social impact of recent devastating floods that affected the population and economic infrastructure, and the sharp increases that we have seen in fuel and food prices in the course of this year.
"Going forward, we agreed that continued efforts to improve public financial management and strengthen public enterprises and banks will be critical for creating the conditions for a revival of economic growth. I welcomed the progress made in reengaging with donors and creditors, as Togo's recovery requires substantial resources that cannot be expected to be derived from the domestic economy alone," Portugal said.
"The IMF will remain closely engaged to help the Togolese authorities with the implementation of their economic reform program through policy advice, as well as technical and financial assistance. With the impressive economic reform course currently underway, I expect that Togo will soon qualify for debt relief by reaching the Highly Indebted Poor Countries decision point. Our hope is that we can facilitate a virtuous circle of economic reform and economic recovery for the country," he concluded.
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