THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reiterated its readiness to support Zimbabwe in implementing a Staff Monitored Program (SMP) that could pave the way for arrears clearance and debt restructuring in the country.
“The IMF stands ready to support Zimbabwe as soon as the authorities are ready,” said Julie Kozak, the director of the IMF’s Communications Department, during the IMF’s last briefing of the year in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
In June this year, the Zimbabwean authorities formally requested an SMP with the IMF, as part of an arrears clearance and debt resolution roadmap that it agreed with multilateral and bilateral creditors early this year.
The roadmap, if successfully implemented, is expected to help Zimbabwe clear its debt to bilateral and multilateral creditors and help it unlock new funding from global financiers.
“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,” Kozak said.
Last week, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa met Abebe Aemro Selassie, the IMF director responsible for the African department, and World Bank Zimbabwe Country Director Nathan Belete to discuss possible support from the two institutions. ■