Helena Lyng Blak
2 weeks ago

IMF Approves $71 Million in Emergency Financing Support for Guinea

IMF steps in with financial aid to address the fallout of Guinea's devastating fuel depot explosion.
Washington, DC - June 04, 2018 — Photo by Bumble-Dee / DepositPhotos
Washington, DC - June 04, 2018 — Photo by Bumble-Dee / DepositPhotos

On Monday, May 6, 2024, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced it had approved a disbursement of 53.55 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an international monetary reserve asset, which roughly amounts to $71 million in United States dollars. 

The funds, provided under the Exogenous Shocks Window of the Rapid Credit Facility, aim to help Guinea address the immediate aftermath of the country's main fuel depot explosion in 2023.

On December 18, 2023, a fire and an explosion broke out in an oil depot in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, killing at least 23 people and injuring 241. The incident further led to widespread fuel shortages in the country.

In response to the fuel shortages, protests and unrest erupted in Conakry, according to France24. Residents living near the depot were forced to flee their homes.

Additionally, the explosion has led to an estimated drop in Guinea’s growth. The IMF expects the African nation’s growth to decelerate to 4.1% this year, before rebounding to 5.6% in 2025. 

With the IMF's emergency financing, Guinea will initially address acute issues such as assisting affected households and cleaning and decontaminating the incident site. The funds will also support infrastructure reconstruction. Later, the focus will shift to other priorities, including public finance management reform and increased spending on social measures like education and health.

Following the decision, First Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair of the IMF Executive Board Gita Gopinath stated, 

“A temporary relaxation of the fiscal stance is warranted to respond to the explosion. Over the medium term, mobilizing domestic revenue, especially from the mining sector, and improving public finance management would create space for increasing spending on education, health, and social protection, helping to boost productivity, reduce poverty and preserve debt sustainability. Reforming the electricity sector to address shortages remains key.”

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