Recently, several social media posts and even African media claimed that this month (May 2021), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the disbursement of US$226 million (XAF121.19 billion) for Cameroon. This is false, however.
The whole thing started with old news published on May 4, 2020, on the IMF’s website. According to the news, Cameroon was effectively granted US$226 million support in the framework of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The support was aimed at supporting “the authorities’ efforts in addressing Cameroon’s urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the terms of trade shocks from the sharp fall in oil prices.”
The media that relayed the information did not pay attention to the date the news was published. Apart from the May 4, 2020, financing, Cameroon received another one of US$156 million (XAF83.6 billion) to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and face health expenses.
Since then, Cameroon has not received any funding under the rapid credit facility. Before the country can obtain further financing, it needs to publish an audit report detailing how it made use of former supports.
Currently, the supreme state audit office is compiling the report. Recently parts of the audit report surfaced online claiming that several high-ranking officials have mismanaged the Covid-19 funds. On the other hand, the accused claim that they are facing mob justice even though their culpability has not been established and they are currently being interviewed by the judicial police of the special criminal court created to investigate economic crimes involving amounts exceeding XAF50 million.
Some people believe that the aim of those who published the older news is to manipulate the public opinion by stating that the IMF has released new funding for Cameroon despite the critics that maintain that the country has become ineligible for international fundings because of poor governance.