Central African Republic will receive $34.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the Washington-based lender completed the first and second reviews of its $115 million loan program.

The funds are much needed as the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic effects on its economy as well as increased violence launched in opposition to general elections held last month.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in a statement that the fallout from the virus appeared to have receded, but the economy remained fragile.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on C.A.R’s economy but appears to be somewhat contained,” he said. “Given its high risk of debt distress and limited revenue base, C.A.R. will have to continue to rely heavily on grant financing for its most pressing spending needs.”

Despite having abundant deposits of gold and diamonds, CAR’s 4.7 million population largely live in poverty and war. The recent violence began when former President Francois Bozize was ousted in a rebellion led by Muslim militias known as the Seleka in 2013. Since then thousands have been killed and over a million displaced.

Rwandan, Russian and a United Nations peacekeeping force help protect a fragile government which doesn’t control huge swathes of the landlocked nation.

Incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadera was declared the winner of December’s presidential vote with more than 50% of votes cast, but the result was hotly disputed by the opposition.

CAR’s economy is projected to grown by 1% in 2021.

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