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Zambia, IMF in crunch virtual meetings

WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund has confirmed that it has started having virtual meetings with the Zambian government regarding a request for emergency financing.
IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice told a media briefing from Washington DC that discussions will cover the economic response to Covid-19 as well as medium term macroeconomic objectives and policies.
Dr Rice said the IMF consultative exchange mission for Zambia started on Monday and continues to July 1.
“So on Zambia, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Zambian authorities have requested emergency assistance from the IMF. This comes in addition to an earlier request from Zambia for Fund support for their broader economic reform programme aimed at restoring economic stability and fiscal as well as debt sustainability while increasing growth and fighting poverty,” Dr Rice said.
He said the Zambian authorities are aware that steps would need to be taken to restore debt sustainability.
“And in this regard, the IMF staff notes the government’s commitment to restore debt sustainability through fiscal policy adjustment and debt management in line with the finance minister’s statement back in February,’ he said.
“On the specific questions about timing. I can confirm that Fund staff will be holding virtual consultations with the Zambian authorities regarding their requests for emergency financing in the week beginning June 22nd.”

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