Guinea Bissau: IMF praises government’s macroeconomic performance but admits there are economic problems

23 May 2008

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 23 May – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Thursday in Bissau praised the Guinea Bissau government’s macroeconomic performance, saying that four of the six quantitative targets agreed at the last assessment had been reached.

The evaluation was made by Catherine McAuliffe, the head of an IMF mission that has been consulting with the Guinean government to assess the performance of the targets agreed with Bissau last November.

“The situation of Public Finance improved in the second half of 2007 after the implementation, by the government, of the emergency plan for public finances. This boosted performance was maintained in 2008, namely on an expenditure control level,” said the press statement issued by McAuliffe’s team.

Howevr, the hjead of the IMF mission said that Guinea Bissau’s situation “is not easy,” in that difficulties remain on a revenue level, which are further affected by rises in the price of food and oil.

The IMF official requested that structural reforms be implemented more quickly in order to improve expenditure and revenue management, transparency and good governance.

The executive board of the IMF is due between June and August of this year to analyse a request made for the release of a second tranche of a US$5.6 million fund that it made available to Guinea Bissau after signing a Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance Programme in January, under the terms of which it has already provided US$2.8 million.

With the targets reached in 2009 the Poverty Reduction Facilities could be reached, which could open up the way to the HPPIC (Debt Pardon to Highly Indebted Poor Countries) initiative as well as the MDRI (Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative). (macauhub)