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IMF is assisting countries mired in debt crisis

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The programme that freezes payments on IMF debt from poor countries is expected to be extended through 2021

The International Monetary Fund programme that freezes payments on IMF debt from poor countries is expected to be extended through 2021, according to the Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. During an International Monetary Fund forum on the coronavirus crisis in developing countries, Georgieva said countries should make investments to speed up the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine. In her view, that will be the best value gained from countries spending. 

Recently, Zambia has requested a financing arrangement with the International Monetary Fund to navigate through its debt crisis. The country is a major copper producer mired in a debt crisis.

Zambian authorities in a statement said “The Fund is currently assessing this request.” It is reported that the country’s $3 billion in outstanding eurobonds is not its only debt, but it also owes $3.5 billion in bilateral debt, $2.1 billion to multilaterals and $2.9 billion to other commercial lenders.

Last year, its debt to Exim Bank amounted to $2.6 billion. This amount has made up a significant portion of the $3 billion Lusaka which is owed to China and Chinese entities, media reports said. 

The International Monetary Fund has been actively supporting and helping countries to come out of their debt crises in recent years. Argentina is in talks with the International Monetary Fund and a deal is expected to take place in March or April 2021.

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