NEW YORK CITY, Feb 13 – When the International Monetary Fund held its biweekly embargoed media briefing on February 13, Inner City Press submitted questions including on Somalia and Bangladesh, and on Egypt, see below.
IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice read out Inner City Press Somalia question: "In Somalia, it is reported that "Bangladesh has agreed partially pay to the IMF as debt relief for Somalia under the HIPC Initiative. 'Bangladesh's international image would benefit from the grant,' said a finance ministry official... [MD] Georgieva wrote to FM AHM Mustafa Kamal, seeking SDR 0.70 million. " Is this true? Can you explain?"
Rice explained that the IMF's board had met about Somalia the previous day, February 12, and that it expects to issue a press release later on February 13 in conjunction with the World Bank. He explained that not only Bangladesh is being asked - thankfully - but also others, to chip in and help. But will the public know which countries paid?
On Egypt, Inner City Press asked, " On Egypt, it is reported that the country is in talks with the IMF over a "non-financial structural reform program.. Now that the fiscal and the monetary reform has been done, we’re talking about structural reforms,” Tarek Amer said Tuesday at an energy conference in Cairo. Please elaborate and give the IMF's thinking." Rice said, among other things, that talks continue. Transcript to follow.
On January 30, Inner City Press in connection with thee 9:30 am embargoed briefing submitted questions about Luanda Leaks, Cameroon and some other topics. On Luanda Leaks, Inner City Press asked, " On Luanda Leaks, what have been the IMF's findings and actions given the evidence that has come out in the growing scandal?" This was emailed before 11 am:
Luanda leaks We do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations, trials and leaked documents. Angola has a three-year EFF program with the IMF. As in other IMF programs, the fight against corruption is an important part of the program with Angola. This involves, inter alia, the strengthening of relevant legislation, such as working on an enhanced AML/CFT law, and other laws promoting stronger governance in public institutions. The effort also involves increased public transparency, for instance the timely publication of certified annual accounts by state-owned enterprises and increased use of the government’s electronic platform for procurement.
Cameroon The Executive Board has completed the fifth review of the arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility for Cameroon on January 22. For more details I would kindly suggest to consult our press release here
On November 7 Inner City Press asked: "On Equatorial Guinea, what is the status (and dollar volume) of the IMF's consideration of a program, and the weighing if at all on the length of time Obiang has been in power? "The loan, the amount of which has not been revealed, is scheduled to be considered by the IMF executive board in December."
From the IMF's November 7 transcript, with video on page: "There's another question from Matthew, which I'll take on Equatorial Guinea, asking what's the status and the volume of the IMF's consideration of a program for Equatorial Guinea and the weighing, if at all, length of time that President Obiang has been in power. On that, I can say that just recently on October 21st, the Equatorial Guinea authorities and an IMF team reached staff level agreement on a three-year arrangement. Again, under the extended Fund facility, which is the more concessional arm of the IMF's lending. The authorities are working on an agreed set of measures that could allow the new program to be considered by the IMF's Executive Board in December. And Matthew had asked about the volume. We're looking at the program that could be supported by approximately $280 million.