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IMF evaluating potential economic, financial implications of Family Values Bill

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is evaluating the potential economic and financial consequences of Ghana’s Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021 (anti-LGBTQ+ bill).

‘With respect to the specific piece of legislation, our team is evaluating the potential economic and financial implications of the legislation,’ Ms Julie Kozack, Director of Communications, IMF said.

She said this during IMF’s regular press briefing on Thursday, March 7, noting that it is through diversity and inclusiveness that economies flourish, as such the Fund ‘will continue to monitor the situation closely.’

This comes on the back of an internal memo of the Finance Ministry, which indicated that Ghana risked losing some US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing should the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assent to the bill.

The Ministry also said such development could negatively impact the country’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as well as external support to the 2034 budget.

It not
ed that there was no direct conditionality in the IMF- Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme on the passage of the Bill, but financing assurances from development partners, including the World Bank were critical for the programme implementation.

‘Hence, the non-disbursement of the budget support from the World Bank will derail the IMF programme,’ the ministry stated in its brief on the impact of the President assenting to the bill on the Ghanaian economy.

Meanwhile, Ms Kozack said the Fund had observed that ‘signs of economic stabilisation are emerging’ in the Ghanaian economy with respect to the implementation of the three-year US$3bn ECF programme.

‘Growth in 2023 has proven to be more resilient than initially expected. Although volatile inflation has been declining rapidly, the fiscal and external positions have improved and exchange rate volatility has declined,’ she said.

‘Looking ahead, steadfast policy and reform implementation will be needed to fully and durably restore macroeconomic stability
and debt sustainability in Ghana,’ the IMF Director of Communications stated.

She also said that it would be crucial for the government to continue implementing the programme as envisaged to ensure sustainable growth and policy implementation.

Ghana received approval for its 17th loan-support programme with the IMF in May 2023 and has since received two tranches of funds, totalling, US$1.2 bn for the government’s Post COVID-19 Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).

The PC-PEG is aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability to build resilience and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

This programme has been necessitated by large external shocks in the country, exacerbating Ghana’s pre-existing fiscal and debt vulnerabilities, resulting in a loss of international market access, increasingly constrained domestic financing, and reliance on monetary financing of the government.

Source: Ghana News Agency