Zambia, IMF to hold virtual meeting on extended credit facility

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Lusaka, Jan. 22, 2021 (Xinhua/NAN) The Zambian government said on Friday that it will next month hold a virtual meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to negotiate an extended credit facility.

The virtual meeting will be held from Feb. 1, to March 3, 2021.

Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the meeting comes in the wake of a request by the government last November for a formal programme and a visit by an IMF team in December.

The meeting will be held under the Extended Credit Facility window which provides financial assistance to countries with protracted balance of payments challenges, a situation which the southern African nation faces.

The programme discussions will centre on the government’s objectives to attain fiscal and debt sustainability and on key pillars in the country’s economic recovery programme, he said in a release.

“In line with the need to stabilise the economy and gain traction on its reform agenda, the government as espoused in the economic recovery programme, 2020-2023, and prior cabinet approvals have prioritised having a formal programme with the IMF,’’ he added.

The talks, he said, will also focus on the need to scale up social protection programmes and undertake the much-needed reforms in the agriculture and energy sectors.

Zambia is seeking a financing agreement with the international lender to tackle its battered economy, which is getting worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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