Zimbabwe has cleared its arrears with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after paying $108 million last week, the Fund has announced.
Zimbabwe, which has been in arrears since 2001, used its allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocated to all IMF member states in 2009 as part of a global financial rescue package to clear the outstanding amount.
“On October 20, 2016, Zimbabwe settled its overdue financial obligations to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) of the IMF. Zimbabwe had been in continuous arrears since 2001,” said IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice in a statement. “To settle these obligations, which amounted to SDR 78.3 million (about US$107.9 million), Zimbabwe transferred part of its SDR holdings kept at the IMF to the PRGT account. Zimbabwe is now current on all its financial obligations to the IMF.”
Harare received $500 million in SDR, released by the IMF to cushion member countries from the global financial crisis in 2009 but maintained reserves of about $130 million. The southern African nation is working on a plan to re-engage international lenders following years of isolation after it defaulted on loans at the turn of the century.
Zimbabwe still owes AfDB ($601 million) and World Bank ($1,15 billion).
On Thursday, IMF country representative Christian Beddies pressed Zimbabwe to continue implementing reforms and to clear its arrears with multilateral lenders in order to access new loans. Zimbabwe, which registered an average 10 percent economic growth between 2009 and 2012, badly needs new capital and investment to starve off a recession.