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Ghana gets IMF $600m loan

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imfThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board has agreed to lend $600 million to Ghana to help the country sail through the challenges of the current global economic crisis.

According to information reaching ghanabusinessnews.com, the facility is to support Ghana’s poverty reduction programme in view of the country’s current precarious economic state.

The IMF says it has agreed to make an immediate payment of a first tranche of $105 million, after its Board approved a $600 million loan to help stabilize Ghana’s economy.

Following the Board’s approval, Ghana has immediate access to $105 million under a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility which has more flexible terms for low income countries, and it also has a low interest rate.

In February President Atta Mills told Parliament that the country’s overall national debt had hit over $7 billion. He said the fiscal deficit, that is the excess of expenditure over revenue is GH¢2.5 billion, close to 15% of GDP. The external deficit, or balance of payment for 2008 is estimated at GH¢3.42 billion or 18.% of GDP.

He has however promised to reduce the budget deficit to 9.4% of GDP this year from 14.9% at the end of 2008.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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