International Monetary Fund (IMF) decision to bailout the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) this week is expected to allocate around $2 billion in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Reuters news agency reports, referring to its sources.
Following two years of negotiations, the IMF’s executive board approved a three year programme worth nearly $449 million for Congo, an OPEC member suffering a setback by a 2014 crash in crude prices.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Alex Segura-Ubiergo visited Brazzaville to hold discussions toward a possible arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). As a result the proposed ECF-supported program aims to help the Republic of Congo restore macroeconomic stability and achieve higher and more inclusive growth. In particular, the program seeks to restore debt sustainability and targets a wide range of reforms to improve governance, reduce corruption, and achieve greater transparency and efficiency in the management of public resources, especially in the oil sector.
In a controversial decision, the World Health Organization (WHO) has again declined to declare Africa’s latest Ebola outbreak global alert, although the desease has killed more than 1400 people and just crossed into a new country.
“It was the view of the committee that the outbreak is a health emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, but it does not meet all criteria,” Preben Aavitsland, acting chair of an expert committee convened by WHO, said at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
The committee gathered for the third time after news emerged this week that the virus had spread from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to neighboring Uganda, so far claimed lives of two people there—a 5-year-old boy and his grandmother—who had crossed the border.
Many infectious disease experts and public officials had expected, and called for WHO to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) when Ebola broke out of the DRC.
*I’m baffled and deeply troubled by this decision,” Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. “The status quo is no longer tenable. It is time to sound a global alert.”
World Health Organization (WHO) said it feared continued “intense transmission” of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where deaths from a nine-month-old epidemic is 994 and expected to exceed 1,000 within hours.
The WHO plans to introduce an unlicensed new Ebola vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, in addition to a Merck vaccine already being used, as “another tool in the toolbox”, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the Geneva.WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a news briefing in Geneva.
However security incidents continue to plague the response to the outbreak, including a would-be assault on a facility, slowing vaccination and daily checks on some 12,000 people potentially exposed to the virus, Ryan underlined. Since January there were 119 separate attacks, and 85 health personnel either injured or killed.
The Foreign Affairs Council will start with a discussion on current affairs. The High Representative and foreign ministers may refer to the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Image: EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini doorstep before the Foreign Affairs Council).
Felix Tshisekedi called for national reconciliation while succeeding Joseph Kabila as Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, in a first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence.
“We want to build a strong Congo, turned toward its development in peace and security,” he said to thousands of supporters gathering on the lawn of the presidential palace. “A Congo for all, in which everyone has a place.”
The inaugural ceremony was briefly interrupted when Tshisekedi had a spell of dizziness during his inaugural address and had to sit down. However he returned to the podium moments after a brief pause, saying he was exhausted by the election and the emotion of the moment. Some media reported there was a problem of bulletproof vest, being fixed too tight.
Felix Tshisekedi is declared by the Constitutional Court as an ultimate winner of the December presidential elections in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) dismissing a claim from supported by the Catholic Church candidate Martin Fayulu who rejected the result of the vote, and announced himself a president elect.
The supporters Tshisekedi were celebrating the court decision in the streets of Kinshasa. Fayulu blames the incumbent President Joseph Kabila an engineered scam deal between him and Tshisekedi.
Both incumbent President Kabila and Tshisekedi’s representatives dismissed any secret dealings . The president of the constitutional court, Benoit Luamba, rejected the claims of a self-proclaimed winner as “inadmissible.”
Felix Tshisekedi is a son of legendary left opposition leader late Etienne Tshisekedi, and founder of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) one of the major political forces in Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rejected the demand of African Union (AU) to postpone the announcement of the final election result, in spite of the warning of the possible unrest, caused by released by the Catholic bishops information, proclaiming the former Exxon Mobile manager Martin Fayulu (62) as the absolute winner. Following the contestant complains, the Constitutional Court assessed the plebiscite legality in a response to an appeal filed by election runner-up Martin Fayulu – who says he was cheated of his victory in the December 30 election.
“The court is independent,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said on January 18. “I don’t think it is the business of the government or even of the African Union to tell the court what it should do.”