IMF boosting its loans to Africa

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Bill Radke: The International Monetary Fund says it will boost loans to Africa and loosen its lending requirements. That’s the outcome of a two-day meeting with African leaders just wrapped up in Tanzania. Gretchen Wilson has the story.

Gretchen Wilson: Africa really had no part in creating the current financial crisis. But it stands to suffer dramatically.

IMFs managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, spoke at the meeting in Tanzania. He said African nations may face greater political conflict — and even war — as local incomes decline and as unemployment rates increase.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Even though the crisis has been slow in reaching Africa’s shores, we all know that it is coming, and its impact will be severe.

The IMF will help poor countries boost their foreign currency reserves. But it says many low-income countries may need up to a total of $140 billion in emergency aid for the crisis.

Several prominent African leaders will meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown next week. They want wealthy nations to make good on earlier promises of increased aid to Africa. And they want development aid to top the agenda of the G20 meeting in London in April.

Im Gretchen Wilson for Marketplace.

All reporting by Gretchen L. Wilson, © 2009

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