IMF, WB to forgive Zim


Zimbabwe is close to striking a debt relief deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank that could see a small part of the country’s delinquent debts being forgiven and the bulk being ring-fenced under a friendlier and more sustainable servicing plan.
Though short of what it asked for – being declared a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) – the country still considers the relief a miraculous milestone given the bad blood that existed between the two parties, according to a source close to the dialogue.
HIPC status would have seen all debts being forgiven.
Publicly-held debts – owed mostly to the World Bank and other multilateral lenders — are estimated to have reached $5,7 billion from about $3,5 billion in 2000, driven by interest expenses on arrears.
The World Bank alone accounts for 54,3 % of Zimbabwe’s debt to multi-country creditors, followed by the Paris Club lenders led by Germany and France.
Insiders say Zimbabwe is engaged in a round of discussions with the IMF and the World Bank to agree on a debt deal after the country approached the Bretton Woods institutions for debt forgiveness and cancellation.
“We acknowledge our debts and