The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a US$20 million support facility for Malawi following completion of reviews of the country's economic performance under a programme supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.The IMF executive board's decision brings to about US$80 million the total disbursements to Malawi by the Bretton Woods institution under the ECF arrangement. A statement released by the Fund on Friday said in completing the reviews, the board had granted waivers for the non-observance of the continuous performance criterion on new non-concessional external debt with a maturity of more than one year. It also waived conditions for non-observance of performance criteria on government net domestic borrowing and on the net domestic assets of the Reserve Bank of Malawi as at the end of September 2013 . "The board also approved an extension of the arrangement by four months (to November 2015 ), and a rephasing of disbursements," the statement reads. The statement further said Malawi's macroeconomic performance under the IMF-supported programme has remained broadly satisfactory and the policy reforms initiated in May 2012 are showing positive results. It, however, observed that the recent fraud and misappropriation of substantial amounts of public funds and the associated loss of programmed financial aid has negatively affected the macroeconomic outlook. "To restore confidence in the authorities' management of the economy, it will be important for the government to investigate the fraud thoroughly and to implement the Action Plan to address the weaknesses in public financial management exposed by the fraud," the Fund said.
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