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Africa Business News of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Source: bbc.com

IMF approves $363m of coronavirus aid for DR Congo

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $363m (£293m) aid package to help the Democratic Republic of Congo deal with the effects of coronavirus.

DR Congo was experiencing "a severe shock as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic", it said.

"The short-term economic outlook has deteriorated quickly due to the fall of minerals’ prices and the impact of needed containment and mitigation measures," the organisation said in a statement.

"The budget deficit is projected to widen this year given expected lower government revenues and higher spending needs related to the pandemic."

DR Congo is the world's leading producer of cobalt, used to power mobile phones and electric cars.

Despite the country's rich mineral wealth, its inhabitants are among the continent's poorest.

DR Congo to date has recorded 350 cases of the virus, and 25 deaths. A strict lockdown imposed in a section of the capital, Kinshasa, has been eased.

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