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Middle East

IMF approves $312.4 mln credit facility for Madagascar

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

NAIROBI, March 30 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund's executive board has approved a $312.4 million extended credit facility arrangement for Madagascar to help it cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related shocks, the fund said.

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a severe human and economic toll on Madagascar, reversing recent social and economic progress, and creating fiscal and external financing needs," Antoinette Sayeh, IMF's deputy managing director, said in a statement late on Monday.

"Given that Madagascar remains at a moderate risk of debt distress, the authorities plan to follow a prudent debt management strategy that relies on concessional financing ..."

The fund said following its board's decision on the 40-month arrangement, it will allow an immediate disbursement of about $69 million.

The IMF forecasts Madagascar's economy to grow 3.2% this year, from an estimated 3.2% contraction last year.

To date, Madagascar has a total 23,585 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 387 deaths, a Reuters tally shows.

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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