Friday, March 24, 2023

IMF to complete Zambia, Chad debt restructuring by year-end

The IMF estimates that Zambia needs $8.4 billion of “cash debt relief” from 2022 to 2025.

• October 11, 2022
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, said she hoped debt restructuring efforts for Zambia and Chad could be completed by the end of this year.

Ms Georgieva, speaking with civil society groups at the start of the annual IMF and World Bank meetings, said a Group of 20 initiative launched in late 2020 had been slow to become operational.

She said completing the task would pave the way for more countries to seek help.

Ms Georgieva said the IMF was pressing for more predictability and timely resolution of requests for help under the G20 Common Framework.

It was also critical to expand the framework to include middle-income countries, she said.

She said the IMF was also working on how to include collective action clauses in debt contracts currently being signed that would allow immediate suspension of debt service payments if a country experienced a climate shock.

IMF and World Bank officials have repeatedly singled out China, the biggest creditor to many African countries, and private sector creditors for dragging their feet on reducing countries’ debt burdens.

The Zambian government on Friday told investors it hoped it would agree debt relief terms with official creditors by the end of the year or early 2023.

Zambia was the first African country to default during the COVID-19 era as it struggled with debt that reached 133 per cent of GDP at the end of 2021.

The IMF estimates that Zambia needs $8.4 billion of “cash debt relief” – cutting both interest payments and loan repayments – from 2022 to 2025.

The IMF in late August, approved $1.3 billion, a three-year loan to Zambia, a crucial step in the southern African country’s quest to restructure its debts.

Chad’s creditors are close to reaching a debt relief agreement, a French Finance Ministry source said on Monday.


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