IMF extends Somalia budget support

Newly elected Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud looks on after he was sworn-in, in the capital Mogadishu. Photo AFP/ Hasan Ali Elmi

The International Monetary Fund has prolonged support for Somalia under its Extended Credit Facility to August 17, giving itself time to consult with an incoming government, the lender has said.

The move follows the election of a new president on Sunday and a request from the Somali government early this month for a three-month extension in financial support.

In February, the IMF warned the three-year budget support programme, worth nearly $400 million, would expire automatically if delays in legislative and presidential elections prevented a new government taking office in time for a review of the package by May 17.

"The extension will provide the time needed to confirm policy understandings with the new government and confirm financing assurances with development partners," the fund said.

Somalia's lawmakers elected former leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Sunday as the new president, ending more than a year of delays to the vote after incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed tried to extend his four-year term by two years. Parliament thwarted his move.

Mohamud will take office from Mohamed on Monday.

The IMF said in a separate statement late on Thursday its staff and Somali authorities had reached a staff-level agreement on their second and third reviews of the programmes under the facility.

The IMF forecast Somalia's economy would expand by 2.7 per cent this year, down from 3.2 per cent forecast in February but higher than the 2 per cent achieved in 2021.

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