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ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund's executive board on Monday approved a $666 million, three-year extended credit facility for Cameroon to support economic and financial reforms, an IMF statement said.
The nations of central Africa's CEMAC currency union have struggled in the face of low oil prices, which have slashed state revenues. Cameroon has also been forced to concentrate resources on combating the threat of Islamist Boko Haram militants along its northwestern border with Nigeria.
"Having initially shown resilience owing to its greater diversification, the Cameroonian economy is now facing decelerating growth, declining fiscal and external buffers, and rapidly-rising public debt," IMF Deputy Managing director Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in the statement.
The board's decision allows for the immediate disbursement of $171 million as part of a program aimed at restoring fiscal and external sustainability and unlocking private sector-driven growth.
The IMF approved a similar $642 million loan agreement for Cameroon's neighbor Gabon, another CEMAC member state, last week.
Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Richard Balmforth