IMF approves US$1bn for Kenya

The International Monetary Fund approved almost US$1 billion for Kenya, saying the East African country had met conditions for continued financing under programmes to help reform the economy and confront challenges posed by climate change.

Kenya got a US$415 million disbursement under the Extended Fund Facility and Expanded Credit Facility, programmes designed to shore up its economy and boost its foreign exchange reserves, following a fifth review. It also got US$551 million as part of the Resilience and Sustainability Facility to “support Kenya’s ambitious efforts to build resilience to climate change,” the IMF said in a statement.

The disbursements followed the fifth review of the programmes.

“Kenya’s economy has been resilient despite the worst drought in many decades and a difficult external environment,” Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said in a statement. The arrangements “continue to support the authorities’ efforts to address emerging challenges to sustain macroeconomic stability and market confidence, promote growth, and advance ongoing reforms.”

The latest figures will bring total disbursements under the ECF/EFF to about US$2 billion.

President William Ruto’s administration has vowed to improve Kenya’s finances by raising more revenue and slowing borrowing.

Kenya’s public debt stood at 9,63 trillion shillings (US$68,1 billion) in April, or two thirds of gross domestic product, according to the National Treasury. Debt servicing costs take up more than half of tax income.

The government in February 2021 agreed to a 38-month IMF programme to help reduce debt vulnerabilities. In May, the programme was extended by 10 months to April 2025. The package was increased by 45 percent to US$3,52 billion, including additional funds to help Kenya deal with climate change under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility. — Bloomberg.

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