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IMF Extends Staff-Monitored Program for Zimbabwe

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde. (File Photo/Reuters)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which recently sent a team to Zimbabwe on a Staff Monitored Program, says it has approved a six-month extension of the program in the country.

In a statement Friday evening, the IMF said, “At the authorities’ request, IMF Management has approved a six-month extension of Zimbabwe’s Staff Monitored Program (SMP) to allow time for the national authorities to strengthen their policies and deliver on outstanding commitments under the program.”

The SMP was approved by IMF Management in June 2013 for the period April–December 2013. During the October 2013 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, the new authorities reiterated their commitment to the SMP and to the process of reengagement with the IMF and with other multilateral institutions.

Under the extension, an IMF staff team will visit Harare in March 2014 to assess performance, combining the first and second reviews under the SMP.

“During the March 2014 visit, the targets for a third review with an assessment date end-June 2014 will be set,” said the IMF.

The country owes the World Bank $1 billion and the international monetary fund about $124 million. Zimbabwe is currently struggling to settle a $10 billion external debt.

Zimbabwe started engaging the IMF following the formation of the unity government in 2009. The IMF and World Bank insist that Harare should pay all its arrears before accessing fresh lines of credit.