NRGI share with you NRGI's recent initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the extractive sector and resource governance issues in DRC.
The DRC was already in a precarious economic situation when the coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic impacts hit the country in March. In early April, the Central Bank of Congo’s currency reserves stood at USD 693 million, barely equivalent to two weeks of imports. On March 23, President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency, closing the country's borders and banning all inbound and outbound traffic.
The government has lowered growth projections for 2020 to 1%, from an initial forecast of 4%. The IMF has stated that the pandemic will have considerable economic and social impacts on the country and forecasts that DRC’s economy will contract by 2.2% in 2020, compared with a pre-pandemic estimate of 3.9% growth.
The country does not have savings from extractive revenues. The government’s priority has been to obtain debt relief and new loans, a process already underway with the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank. In April the IMF approved a credit facility of USD 363.3 million.