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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
IMF agrees fresh DR Congo payment
Boy looking at Congolese government soldier
Violence continues to plague the east of the country
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to give the Democratic Republic of Congo an additional $41m (22m) in aid.

The loan will come from the IMF's ongoing Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programme for the vast central African nation.

In its fifth review of the PRGF scheme, the IMF said the DR Congo's economy continued to grow, but that political and social tensions remained a problem.

The DR Congo continues to be blighted by violence in the east of the country.

Developments since mid-2004 have highlighted the fragility of the economic and political situation
IMF statement

Although its five-year civil war officially ended in 2003 after the deaths of an estimated three million people, militia and ethnic attacks persist along the Uganda, Rwandan and Burundi borders.

At the same time, the country enjoys vast mineral wealth - which has perpetuated the fighting between various factions keen to control key mineral-rich areas.

Vital reforms

The latest $41m payment from the IMF to the DR Congo central government comprises $39.2m directly from the PRGF scheme and an additional interim assistance payment of $1.7m.

So far the IMF's DR Congo PRGF programme has paid out $813.2m out of a total set allowance of $852.1m by 31 March 2006.

A general election in the country is timetabled to take place next year.

"The DR Congo made further progress in 2004 and 2005 and the authorities have continued to implement wide-ranging macroeconomic and structural policies," said the IMF in its report.

"Developments since mid-2004 have highlighted the fragility of the economic and political situation.

"Bringing the political transition progress to a successful conclusion and improving the security environment by completing the reform of the army and the police will be key in restoring confidence."

The IMF called on the government to do more to tackle corruption.

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