DAKAR (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund has approved a $312 million three-year credit programme for Chad to help boost an economy hit by low oil prices, big debt and lasting security issues.
The Extended Credit Facility, $48.8 million of which will be made available immediately, aims to help diversify the economy away from oil, reduce debt and bolster security.
“Chad’s macroeconomic and financial performances have deteriorated significantly over the past two years, against the backdrop of low oil prices, tense regional security situation, and a heavy external commercial debt burden,” said David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, said in a statement late on Friday.
Chad has been on the front line in the fight against Boko Haram, and has contributed troops to a regional force to fight the Nigerian Islamist militant group. It also faces the threat of factional infighting spilling over from Libya to the north.
That has put a strain on the impoverished central African country’s economy, which has also been hit by a more than 50 percent drop in oil prices since 2014.
Childhood hunger costs Chad nearly $1 billion a year in health and education costs and lower productivity in adult life, the African Union and U.N. agencies said in a joint study last year.
(Reporting By Edward McAllister Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)