Cyclone Kenneth: An IMF mission in Moroni to assess the needs of the public and private sector

25-06-2019 07:56
A delegation from the geographical department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came in Comoros since Monday, June 10 for a mission to assess the consequences of hurricane Kenneth on the country. An emergency assistance plan for the Union of Comoros will then be developed under a so-called Credit Facility program. "We are here to witness, listen to everyone, support the government's efforts after Kenneth's passage," said the chief of mission, David Owen, Deputy Director of the Africa Department yesterday.

The experts of the IMF have started since Monday, June 10 a series of technical meetings with the ministerial departments and public administrations. They met yesterday, Wednesday, June 12, late morning, the Directorate General of Customs. The experts of the IMF were interested in three aspects: "the situation of the customs receipts, the forecasts of the customs receipts on December 31, 2019, the impact of the cyclone on the imports and the exports and the reforms of Customs", according to the sheet -program of meetings.

In his introductory statement, the Director General of Customs reported the physical damage identified at the physical facilities but quickly repaired, taking the opportunity to indicate that Customs have responded well to the objectives set by the government in terms of revenue. "We have put in place border surveillance to guard against all potential illicit traffic," he said. Souef Kamalidini underlined the system set up after the cyclone to facilitate the rapid clearance of emergency aid for disaster victims. "It's the government that has covered 100% of all the costs," he said. The DG of Customs, however, expressed "fears" about an increase in imports in the coming months, which can be explained by the decline in local production, referring to agricultural losses recorded after the cyclone.

Referring to exports of cash crops (vanilla, cloves, ylang ylang), Souef Kamalidini said that much of the green gold, for example, was already stored even though many farmers lost part of their harvest. The IMF experts also wanted to learn about the impact of the cyclone on customs revenue in line with the macro-fiscal framework. Customs officials said they work tirelessly to control the risks of falling revenues. They believe that the state should continue to support tax expenditures for the clearance of humanitarian aid partners, NGOs and international organizations.

The IMF experts are continuing consultations with other state administrations and the private sector with a view to finalizing a multidimensional matrix of work that will serve as a reference in the elaboration of the future emergency assistance plan for Comoros. IMF experts are expected to release their findings this Friday during a restitution session scheduled for this purpose.

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