The International Monetary Fund’s executive board on Monday approved a three-year $ 456 million loan agreement for Mozambique, with about $ 91 million available for immediate repayment, the fund said.

The facility is the first program by a South East African country since a global lender suspended support six years ago.

The IMF said the three-year agreement would help support economic recovery and policies to reduce public debt and financial vulnerability, while creating space for public investment in human capital, climate adaptation and infrastructure.

The fund said the program would support an agenda of reforms aimed at creating a sovereign welfare fund to manage the country’s liquefied natural gas wealth, mobilize tax revenues and strengthen public finances.

“Mozambique has coped relatively well with the COVID pandemic, supporting macroeconomic stability and reform dynamics, even as the country experienced a series of upheavals culminating in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Bo Lee said in a statement.

“As space for policy is now limited, the priorities are to sustain the ongoing economic recovery and combat the vulnerability of debt.”

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