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IMF Cyclone Idai / US Fed / Tunisia

Release Date: 21 Mar 2019
The IMF has dispatched a team to Mozambique to aid in efforts to help the economy recover in the wake of devastating Cyclone Idai, Fund spokesman Gerry Rice announced Thursday (March 7).
““We've all been watching with sadness the effect of Cyclone Idai, and I just want to reiterate what Christine Lagarde said yesterday on that issue.  She said our solidarity is with the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.  Our condolences go to the families and friends of those affected by this terrible disaster and an IMF staff team is now in Maputo to evaluate options for possible IMF support,” Rice told reporters in Washington.
The IMF also announced Thursday a 100% matching program for all staff donating to relief efforts for the region.
Rice also expressed support to the US Federal Reserve on its decision not to raise rates in 2019.
Rice said the US economy is generally strong, but “given the range of global uncertainties facing the U.S. economy, we support the Fed's decision to be patient in determining future changes to the Federal funds rate.  The Federal Reserve's continued adherence to the principles of data dependence and clear communication, we believe will help to minimize any market disruptions and spill overs from its policy decisions.”
And the IMF is encouraged by steps that Tunisia has taken to stabilize its economy while ensuring adequate resources are available for social safety net programs.
“What I can say right on Tunisia is that we believe Tunisia has made important progress in several fields and is experiencing a modest recovery, however, the economy remains vulnerable, deficits and debt are at large, inflation is high, and foreign exchange reserves are low,” Rice said.
“We support the Tunisian government’s efforts to strengthen the microeconomic policies and reforms in support of job creation and growth and we hope that this will yield more positive results for the people of Tunisia and in this context, also important is providing social protection for the vulnerable and we see that as a priority,” he added.
“So, in short, you know, we are looking to be a good partner to Tunisia, to support Tunisia, and we also are encouraging the international community to step up to help Tunisia more in its efforts,” Rice said.
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