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IMF grants Kenya $1bn loan to fight Climate Change, boost economy

Kenyan President William Ruto

The Kenyan Government is to obtain a loan of almost $1billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to help the East African country reduce debt vulnerabilities and tackle climate change.

As gathered, the IMF approved 415.4 million dollars under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements, which are designed to revive its economy and boost its foreign exchange reserves.

According to the IMF, the loan was an arrangement under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) amounting to 551.4 million dollars to support Kenya’s ambitious efforts to build resilience to climate change.

Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Antoinette Sayeh said in a statement on Monday: “The RSF-supported programme is expected to further integrate climate-related considerations in macro policies and frameworks by adopting green public financial management and climate-sensitive public investment management reforms.

“The programme will further introduce carbon pricing, enhance effectiveness of Kenya’s existing frameworks to mobilise climate finance, and strengthening disaster risk reduction and management.”

Sayeh who noted that Kenya’s economy had been resilient despite the worst drought in many decades and a difficult external environment, said the ECF and EFF arrangements continue to support the authorities’ efforts to address emerging challenges to sustain macroeconomic stability and market confidence, promote growth and advance ongoing reforms.

“While the medium-term outlook remains positive, in the near-term global headwinds continue to have a bearing on economic activity, amid elevated inflationary pressures,” she said.

According to the IMF, key policy priorities of the programme include reducing debt vulnerabilities through multi-year fiscal consolidation efforts.

This, it said, will be done through raising tax revenues and rationalising spending, while protecting priority social and developmental spending.

“Tighter financing conditions also require a prudent debt policy and continued efforts to prioritise concessional loans,” Sayeh said.

Kenyan President, William Ruto, in June signed the Finance Bill into law, which will raise taxes on a wide range of items despite the opposition criticism that it will bring more economic hardship to citizens.

While the law has been challenged in court, which stopped its implementation, the government raised the tax on fuel to 16 per cent from eight per cent, a move that has seen the cost of various products and transport surge up to 30 per cent.

Sayeh called on the Central Bank of Kenya to continue taking appropriate steps to strengthen its reserves position and develop the foreign exchange market, while allowing exchange rate flexibility as a shock absorber.

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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