IMF poverty program for Comoros stalls

The dispute over elections between the federal government of Comoros and the local administration in Anjouan, one of the African nation’s three major islands, is impeding the progress of the poverty reduction program sponsored by the International Monetary Fund. “We should have gone to the board in July 2007, but we now have to postpone because of the Anjouan situation,” said IMF Resident Representative Pierre van den Boogaerde. “It is a four-legged programme, if you wish, and each of the four legs (the federal government and the three islands of Comoros) has to participate fully, clearly and transparently,” van den Boogaerde continued. The successful implementation of the program, according to the IMF official, could lead to the country’s qualification for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. “One of the biggest burdens of Comoros is this large debt – it is amongst the highest in the world for a less developed country,” he remarked. (Source: Comoros crisis delays IMF poverty programme/Reuters)

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