The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved an equivalent to $304.7 million in financial assistance for Madagascar under a 40-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement to help shore up its economy, the fund said.
The IMF and international donors broke ties or cut aid to the Indian Ocean island nation after a coup in 2009, but resumed them after a peaceful presidential election in late 2013.
Lack of investment and regulation means life is hard for the men, women and children panning for tiny fragments of gold along Madagascar’s river beds. A drumming sound reverberates across the bridge and over the valley: the gold panners are hard at work.
Dotted along the edges of a river bed are hundreds of people, rhythmically banging wooden poles into the red earth. They are gold miners “sampling” the dry soil for the precious metal. Crouched alongside them are other workers, carefully panning piles of earth through homemade metal sieves.