December 17, 2009 / 7:49 AM / 8 years ago

DR Congo external debt unsustainable without relief: IMF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo’s external debt is unsustainable without substantial debt relief and authorities should rely on grants, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen during a news conference in Bucharest March 25, 2009. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

In a statement at the end of consultations, the IMF said the DRC would also have to depend on highly concessional debt. It urged the government to step up measures that would help the country meet goals for debt relief.

“Going forward, the authorities should rely on grants and highly concessional debt,” the IMF said.

“Directors welcomed the recent amendment of an important cooperation agreement in the mining and infrastructure sectors, which limited the government guarantee to the infrastructure financing.”

Early this month, the IMF approved a $550 million loan arrangement for the mineral resources rich DRC. The loan was approved after the IMF pressured the DRC to renegotiate an infrastructure-for-minerals agreement with China, which the Fund argued would have increased Congo’s debt burden.

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