April 12, 2019 / 2:40 PM / 13 days ago

Mozambique's IMF loan program to be decided as soon as next week: official

FILE PHOTO: People stand on the banks where the bridge was washed away, in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, near the village of John Segredo, Mozambique March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund could approve a loan program for Mozambique as soon as next week to help the African nation recover from a devastating cyclone, an official with the international lender said on Friday.

“We have moved very rapidly to support Mozambique,” said Abebe Aemro Selassie, director of the IMF’s African department.

Speaking during the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, he said the IMF’s board could decide on a so-called rapid credit facility in the order of $120 million as soon as next week.

Cyclone Idai tore through central Mozambique on March 14, and earlier this month the World Bank said the direct economic losses could be as high as $773 million. That estimate covered damage to buildings, infrastructure and agriculture.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday promised a prompt payment to Mozambique as soon as the global lender’s board approves the credit facility.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Paul Simao

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