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IMF agrees to give Malawi $157 million

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – An International Monetary Fund official says the agency and Malawi have agreed to a $157 million aid package signaling an improvement in relations between the Southern African nation and donors.

The IMF’s mission chief in Malawi, Tsidi Tsikata, told reporters Wednesday that he was pleased that the new government has worked towards changing the country’s policy environment.

Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda has moved decisively to differentiate herself from her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in April. Under Mutharika relations between Malawi and the agency had become tense. He had refused to devalue the currency as the IMF had advised. Banda’s central banker devalued the currency in May.

The package Tsikata announced will be distributed over three years and will be subject to quarterly reviews.

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