Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement in Bangui today at the conclusion of a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR):
“I am very pleased to have been able to visit the Central African Republic. I wish to thank President Faustin-Archange Touadéra for meeting with me to discuss the country’s economic challenges as he strives to implement an ambitious agenda to reduce widespread poverty and foster national reconciliation. I also want to thank Finance and Budget minister Henri-Marie Dondra and BEAC national director for the CAR, Ali Chaibou for their generous hospitality. “President Touadéra’s commitment to promote economic development, and reduce poverty in a fragile environment is commendable. This will require scaling up pro-poor and investement spending by raising domestic revenues and strengthening public financial management.
“During my visit, it was an honor to address the national assembly where I was welcomed by the Speaker of the House, Abdou Karim Meckassoua. I had the opportunity to hear directly from women leaders and students about their vision and aspirations for the CAR. I also had the privilege to visit the Voix du Coeur, a grassroots nonprofit organization that provides care, home and social reintegration to vulnerable children.
“Altogether, I was deeply impressed by the determination of all stakeholders to lay the needed foundations for robust and inclusive growth. The IMF will continue to support these efforts, including through our recently approved loan of US$116 million. A US$ 2.0 billion pledge by donors in November in support of the National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan (NRPP) is another welcome development.
“Once again, I would like to express my profound appreciation to the government and people of the Central African Republic for welcoming me so warmly to their country.”