Central African Republic: IMF chief encourages CAR to promote peace

Bangui, Central African Republic (PANA) - While facing a legacy of fragility, authorities in Central African Republic (CAR) must have a concrete focus on building peace, restoring social cohesion, and assembling a working government, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said here on Wednesday.

"You need to foster national reconciliation and restore peace," Lagarde told  the CAR National Assembly. "You need to restart the economy and rebuild your institutions and infrastructure. These challenges are closely intertwined."

"I am deeply impressed with the progress you have made so far. Some of this is evident in the day-to-day work of the government. For example, treasury management has improved, and the civil service has been streamlined.

"After shrinking almost 40 percent in 2013, the Central African Republic’s economy has a long way to go. Infrastructure has been shattered. Agriculture, forestry, and mining have not returned to past levels of output. Institutional capacity remains weak. And the security situation in some parts of the country is still tenuous," the IMF chief observed.

She assured the country's leadership of full support from the IMF as they pursue political stability, improved governance, and economic resurgence.

Last July, the IMF Executive Board approved a three-year arrangement totalling US$120 million under its Extended Credit Facility in order to strengthen revenue collection; improve spending efficiency; scale-up social spending and infrastructure investment; implement reforms; and coordinate support from development partners for CAR, among other goals.

"That’s a long list—all of which is essential to restoring stability and growth," Ms Lagarde emphasized.

She said that she was moved to learn of the words of Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to the Central African Republic, when he stated: “Peace is not a document that is signed and then put up some place. Peace is made each day. Peace is a craft, a handiwork.”

At the conclusion of her visit, Ms Lagarde thanked said the President of Central African Republic, Mr. Faustin-Archange Touadéra with whom she discussed the country’s economic challenges.

She remarked that the president was striving to implement an ambitious agenda to reduce widespread poverty and foster national reconciliation.

“President Touadéra’s commitment to promote economic development, and reduce poverty in a fragile environment is commendable. This will require scaling up pro-poor and investment spending by raising domestic revenues and strengthening public financial management," she said.
-0- PANA AR 25Jan2017

25 january 2017 17:07:15

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