IMF resumes loans to Mali, disburses $11.7 million

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2014 6:49 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has unfrozen its loans to Mali after a review of allegations of financial irregularities and the country will soon receive $11.7 million.

The West African country is struggling return to stability after a war with jihadists who seized its north. Mali is now also trying to contain the spread of Ebola.

The fund suspended its loans to Mali in June over concerns that it overpaid for a military supply contract that wasn't open to bids and bought an expensive private plane, at a time when it should have been tightening its budget. In September, auditors from the fund said they were satisfied the country was taking steps to rectify these problems.

On Monday, the fund's executive board completed its official review of Mali's situation and agreed to continue disbursing the loans.

"The economic recovery is under way, but remains fragile, and prospects are clouded by a difficult security situation and the risk of an Ebola epidemic," said Naoyuki Shinohara, acting chair of the fund's executive board. "In order to restore business, consumer, and donor confidence, it is essential to tighten the implementation of budget and procurement rules."

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He said next year's budget put the country's finances back on the right path, but more reforms are needed.