Cameroon's trade partners, particularly France, Germany, and the United States, offered to help the country, but Cameroon balked at their condition that the country follow strict cost-cutting suggestions laid out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Instead, Cameroon formulated its own plan. Civil servants lost access to subsidised electricity, housing, and telephones; parts of the government's vehicle fleet were sold; older civil servants were forced into retirement; the official working schedule was changed; economic missions in foreign embassies from Cameroon were closed; and state and parastatal enterprises were privatised. The 1987–1988 budget reduced government spending by 18%, the first time in the country's history that the budget decreased.
The measures met with international approval, but violent crime rose as a result. Cameroon's plan also failed to rein in corruption. By October 1988, the intended effect was less than had been hoped, and Cameroon agreed to an IMF aid package worth $150 million and accepted a structural adjustment program (SAP) loan from the World Bank. The African Development Bank, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom loaned the government further funds. Cameroon has since focused on paying off its international debt and further restricting public salaries and pay rises to civil servants. Its economy had mostly recovered by the early 2000s.