Zambia to hold virtual meeting with IMF on extended credit facility

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-22 23:37:25|Editor: huaxia
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LUSAKA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- 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 February 11 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 program 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 program discussions will center on the government's objectives to attain fiscal and debt sustainability and on key pillars in the country's economic recovery program, he said in a release.

"In line with the need to stabilize the economy and gain traction on its reform agenda, the government as espoused in the economic recovery program, 2020-2023, and prior cabinet approvals has prioritized having a formal program with the IMF," he added.

The talks, he said, will also focus on the need to scale up social protection programs 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. Enditem