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IMF Approves New Loan For Cameroon Despite Corruption Claim

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year financing arrangement worth nearly $700 million with Cameroon, despite calls to halt the disbursement over misuse of funds, Daily Nation reported.

“Cameroon faces significant development challenges heightened by the pandemic. An upsurge in Covid-19 cases since January has raised concerns about growth prospects and the external and fiscal positions,” IMF said in a statement on its website.

According to IMF’s executive board, $689.5 was approved under the  the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), with an immediate disbursement of about US$ 177.2 million as budget support.

The aid is to help the central African country recover from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and pursue reforms.

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The new loan was approved despite calls by groups for it to be deferred until Cameroon offers clarity on how a recent disbursement of $326 million (FCFA 180 billion) from Bretton Wood, for use in fighting Covid-19, was spent.

An audit by the Supreme Court of Cameroon revealed massive corruption and mismanagement of $326 million (FCFA 180 billion) in IMF funds to fight against the pandemic in the period up to December 30.

The preliminary investigation by the audit bench of the court indicted several government officials of corruption, wasteful spending, improper accounting, irregular procurements and allowances, conflict of interest and embezzlement of the cash.

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