New Delhi :Ms. Antoinette M. Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Lusaka at the conclusion of her visit to Zambia:
“I wish to thank President Hichilema, Minister of Finance and National Planning Musokotwane, and other senior officials for their hospitality, and civil society organizations, parliamentarians, and the donor community for their engagement. I was happy to have the opportunity to hear about recent economic developments, including the impact of rising global commodity prices, and their implications for the economic outlook.
“I welcomed the sustained commitment of the authorities to the reform plans outlined in the context of the December 2021 staff-level agreement on an IMF-supported program.
“Zambia’s implementation to date of its homegrown economic program is impressive. This is a robust program that can achieve the authorities’ goals of restoring macroeconomic stability and laying the foundations for more resilient and inclusive growth.
“I also welcomed the authorities’ focus on greater investment in education and health. I particularly emphasized the importance of delivering on the budgeted social welfare program to help mitigate the impact of recent global shocks on the most vulnerable. I was pleased to hear that execution of this spending is on track.
“We are encouraged by the news that the official creditor committee will meet today to begin deliberations on Zambia’s request for a debt treatment under the G20 Common Framework. We urge creditors to provide financing assurances as soon as possible, as they are needed before staff can put forward Zambia’s program for consideration by the IMF Executive Board. This will allow Zambia to access Fund resources, and also unlock access to critical financing from other partners, to help boost its economic recovery.”