Congo, IMF Plan Talks on Spending of $1.5 Billion SDR Allocation
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo plan to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund on how it will spend part of the $1.5 billion of special drawing rights allocated to the country.
The addition of the SDRs to the central bank’s balance sheet helped almost double the nation’s reserves to $3.35 billion, central bank Governor Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi said in a statement seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by bank officials Wednesday.
The IMF disbursed the SDRs to Congo as part of a general allocation to support member states struggling to deal with the effects of Covid-19. In July, the Washington D.C.-based lender also began releasing funds to Congo from a three-year, $1.5 billion loan program.
The IMF and the central African nation will hold discussions soon on using the SDRs to support Congo’s budget for social investment and infrastructure, Gabriel Leost, the IMF’s representative in Congo, said by text message.
Congo is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt, a key mineral in electric-vehicle batteries. High prices for both minerals have also helped boost reserves, which were at only $709 million in December 2020, according to Kabedi-Mbuyi’s statement. The current reserves amount covers about three months of imports, she said.
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