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Wave Of Violence, Death Toll In South Africa Worries IMF

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed its concern over the violent crisis in South Africa, which has resulted in loss of lives and property.

The unrest in South Africa began after the incarceration of the country’s former president, Jacob Zuma, who began serving his 15-month sentence on Wednesday last week. The initial peaceful protests eventually turned violent, leaving a trail of massive destruction and looting behind.

IMF’s Director of Communications, Gerry Rice said the Fund is saddened by the situation in South Africa, particularly when viewed against the background of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country.

“I do not have a great deal to say, but obviously, watching the situation closely, saddened by the violence, and the loss of life. Hoping the situation will normalize, as we all know the pandemic has weakened the economic conditions in South Africa, as has been the case in so many other countries.

“South Africa has also been hit by this third wave of COVID-19. So, the vaccination campaign in South Africa, as in all countries, very important, more important than ever. And just a reminder, we did support South Africa over the past year with emergency financial assistance to help with the pandemic. Again, as we did with some 85 other countries”, he said.

Rice who spoke during a press briefing, also noted that the IMF has responded to the letter written by the Women Leaders of Cameroon on their concerns about the governance of COVID-19 related financing.

“We talked about it the last time, I can tell you, since then, IMF staff have followed up and actually met with the Women Leaders of Cameroon to follow up on their concerns.  I won’t go into the details of that discussion, but we were able to, I think, reassure those women leaders about our concern and our focus on those governance issues and our willingness to continue to engage with that group, as the IMF does with civil society in very many countries.

“I don’t really have much more on Cameroon to add. I think I said the last time that we are calling for the publication of public procurement. The issuance of a report on COVID-19 related spending, independent audit, we’re asking for these items of good governance in Cameroon. We’re asking for these items of good governance in many countries, where we have been supporting with IMF related support for COVID-19. We’re very much engaged with the authorities on these issues.

“Maybe just a footnote, we helped Cameroon with two rapid credit facility disbursements, last year. The authorities have requested new financing arrangements, additional financing arrangements with the IMF. Our Board will discuss this request in the following weeks, but subject to the authorities meeting mutually agreed prior actions”, he added.

He equally disclosed that the Managing Director of the Fund, Kristalina Georgieva will at the Peterson Institute for an event on trade and its role in the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery on Wednesday next week.  .

“A couple of days later, Kristalina will be with the Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder for a virtual conversation on jobs, employment, the role of the informal economy”, he added.

The director further noted that there is an IMF book being published related to the ILO’s virtual conversation on jobs, employment and informal economy, on Friday July 23rd, adding that on July 28, IMF boss will also be opening the Camdessus lecture, which is an annual event here at the Fund.

“And the day after that, Kristalina will be talking about the role of digital currency with the central bank governor of the Bahamas John Rolle. As many of you may know, the Bahamas has been very active in this digital currency sphere and this is July 29th. Julie Chatterley of CNN will moderate that event”, he further disclosed.

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