The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a 38-month arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Burundi. The arrangement will provide financing of SDR200.2 million (about US$271 million), with an immediate disbursement of SDR46.2 million (about US$62.6 million); Burundi faces protracted balance of payments needs with a widening current account deficit and low foreign reserves coverage, large development needs, and macroeconomic challenges triggered by spillovers from the war in Ukraine and domestic climate shocks and livestock sanitary crisis.
The 38-month arrangement under the ECF will help cushion Burundi’s adjustment and support the authorities’ reform agenda aimed at reducing debt vulnerabilities, recalibrating exchange rate and monetary policies to restore external sustainability, and strengthening inclusive economic growth and governance; The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a 38-month arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Burundi with access of 130 percent of quota, equivalent to SDR 200.2 million (about US$271 million).  The decision allows an immediate disbursement of SDR 46.2 million (about US$ 62.6 million).
The arrangement will help Burundi address its protracted balance of payments needs, reduce debt vulnerabilities, and cope with the effects of recent domestic and external shocks. Burundi’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery has slowed down, although still healthy. Spillovers of the war in Ukraine have triggered sharp increases in commodity prices and domestic inflationary pressures. Domestic shocks, including delayed rainfall, limited availability of fertilizer, and outbreaks of livestock fevers have impacted Burundi’s primary sector. External imbalances have heightened, with a widening current account deficit, low foreign exchange reserves, and a still large parallel foreign exchange (FX) market premium.Higher spending needs, including on fertilizers, social programs, and vaccines have deteriorated the fiscal path and raised fiscal financing needs.
The ECF arrangement will cushion Burundi’s policy recalibration and economic adjustment, while supporting the authorities’ policy agenda. Key commitments include (i) a better-quality fiscal consolidation path achieved through higher revenue, scaled-up investment, and prudent borrowing while protecting priority social spending; (ii) unification of the official and parallel exchange rate markets and foreign exchange market liberalization to restore external sustainability; (iii) tightened monetary policy in support of the ongoing unification and to rein in inflation, while modernizing the monetary policy framework and fostering financial sector stability; and (iv) undertaking further governance and structural reforms to ensure an environment conducive to inclusive growth and job creation.
At the conclusion of the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Okamura, Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:
“Burundi has recently been hit by several shocks. Spillovers from Russia’s war in Ukraine have triggered commodity price increases, which led to heightened domestic inflation pressures and slowed the post COVID-19 growth recovery. Domestic shocks, including unfavorable weather conditions and an animal sanitary crisis, have hampered primary sector prospects and living conditions. The country faces important macroeconomic challenges, including persistently high inflation, external imbalances with a widening current account deficit and inadequate foreign exchange reserve coverage, and large fiscal needs and public debt.
“To address these challenges, the Burundian authorities have requested a 38-month arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The arrangement would help address the country’s protracted balance of payments needs, rebuild external buffers, reduce public debt vulnerabilities, and support the implementation of the authorities’ reform agenda. This is Burundi’s first Upper Credit Tranche-quality arrangement with the IMF since 2015.
“Under the ECF arrangement, the authorities aim to recalibrate Burundi’s macroeconomic policy mix. They plan to restore external sustainability with the unification of the official and parallel exchange rate markets and foreign exchange market liberalization, while being attuned to financial sector vulnerabilities. They will strengthen debt sustainability and achieve a better-quality fiscal consolidation path through higher domestic revenue mobilization, scaled-up investment and better targeted spending, and prudent borrowing. Monetary policy tightening, while modernizing the monetary policy framework and exiting monetary financing, will support the ongoing exchange rate unification and contain inflation. Governance and growth-enhancing reforms, as well as timely capacity development will support the program objectives.
“The arrangement is expected to catalyze donor funding, which is essential to cater to Burundi’s large financing needs and support its exit from fragility.”
 SDR figures for the program are converted at the market rate of U.S. dollar per SDR on the day of program approval.
Burundi: Selected Economic Indicators, 2020 –2028
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).