We would like to thank staff for the comprehensive and well-balanced report on Chad, which provides a thorough description of the country’s economic situation and the challenges it faces. We are appreciative of their continued advice to the Chadian authorities in meeting these challenges. For its part, the government is fully committed to pursuing sound economic and financial policies and structural reforms aimed at strengthening the country’s economy, improving growth and reducing poverty in a sustained manner.
The ex post assessment discussed at the Board last March highlighted progress achieved by Chad in many economic areas under Fund-supported programs, but it also revealed the many challenges the country has to address to achieve sustainable and lasting poverty reduction, notably the need to strengthen administrative capacity and physical infrastructure, improve human capital, consolidate security, enhance budget and cash management, increase access to financial services, and cope with exogenous shocks such as droughts and low international prices of agricultural products. Since the ex post assessment, other adverse shocks have been evident, notably the desert locust infestation and the Darfur situation, which has humanitarian consequences and budgetary implications for Chad. Among other constraints to sustained growth is the low and unpredictable external aid flows to Chad.
To address these numerous problems, the assistance of the international community is most needed. As the petroleum era may be short-lived and the contribution of oil revenue to the government budget has not been very significant so far, there is a need to not be overoptimistic about the oil factor. The resources from the HIPC Initiative debt relief carries much weight. My authorities are making efforts to tackle the problems the country faces. They commit to a close implementation of the program set forth in their PRGF, and stand ready to take any further measures if and when necessary. They call on all donors to support their efforts.