IMF approves immediate disbursement of about $153 million to Tanzania

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The executive board of the International Monetary Fund on Monday approved the first review of Tanzania’s three-year extended credit facility, allowing immediate disbursement of about $153 million in budgetary support, the IMF said in a statement.

The IMF said Tanzania’s economic reform program is progressing well in a challenging global economic environment, but authorities should work to boost domestic revenues, while stepping up structural reforms to streamline bureaucracy and combat corruption.

The decision brings total disbursements under the $1.04 billion loan arrangement approved for Tanzania last year to about $305 million, the IMF said.

“Program performance has been strong. All quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets for December 2022 were met, and two of the three structural benchmarks for December 2022 were completed on time,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said.

Efforts to enhance domestic revenue mobilization and improve spending efficiency would help Tanzania finance priority investment and social spending while safeguarding debt sustainability, she added.

“Strengthening public finance management and oversight of state-owned enterprises is critical to contain fiscal risks,” and authorities should clear domestic arrears and prevent accumulation of new ones by strengthening cash management and commitment controls, she said.

Sayeh said Tanzania’s risk of debt distress remains moderate, but it was vital to continue prioritizing low-interest financing and ensure that risks from potential liabilities were well-contained.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Lincoln Feast)