The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has once again affirmed its willingness to assist Zimbabwe in implementing a Staff Monitored Program (SMP), a move that could pave the way for arrears clearance and debt restructuring within the country.
Julie Kozak, the director of the IMF’s Communications Department, made this announcement during the IMF’s final briefing of the year in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Kozak stated, “The IMF stands ready to support Zimbabwe as soon as the authorities are ready.”
In June of this year, Zimbabwe formally requested an SMP with the IMF as part of a broader arrears clearance and debt resolution roadmap that was agreed upon with multilateral and bilateral creditors earlier in the year.
This roadmap, if successfully implemented, is anticipated to play a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s efforts to settle its debts with both bilateral and multilateral creditors, consequently unlocking new funding opportunities from global financiers.
Kozak explained the potential benefits of the SMP, saying, “An SMP would help durably restore macroeconomic stability in Zimbabwe. With strong policy commitment and implementation, the SMP would help stabilize the economy and revitalize growth. It would also help build a track record of policy and reform implementation, which could pave the way for arrears clearance and debt restructuring in Zimbabwe.”
In a recent development, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa held discussions with Abebe Aemro Selassie, the IMF director responsible for the African department, and World Bank Zimbabwe Country Director Nathan Belete. These discussions revolved around exploring possible support from both institutions.
The ongoing commitment from the IMF to aid Zimbabwe in its economic recovery efforts demonstrates a positive step towards resolving the country’s financial challenges and fostering sustainable economic growth.
The international community will be closely monitoring these developments as Zimbabwe continues its journey towards financial stability and debt relief.