IMF extends Zimbabwe programme to June

14 Jan 14
International Monetary Fund staff are to continue to scrutinise Zimbabwe for a further six months to allow it more time to pursue its economic reforms

The IMF’s Staff-Monitored Programme (SMP) for Zimbabwe, agreed in June last year, was scheduled to run from April to December 2013. However, with aspects of the programme still undelivered, this has now been extended to June 2014.

‘At the [Zimbabwe] authorities’ request, IMF management has approved a six-month extension of Zimbabwe’s Staff Monitored Programme to allow time for the national authorities to strengthen their policies and deliver on outstanding commitments,’ the fund said.

Under the extension, the IMF is expected to return to Zimbabwe in March to assess the country’s performance and set targets that will be assessed at the end of June.

The SMP is the first agreement between Zimbabwe and the IMF in more than a decade. It focuses on putting the country’s public finances on a sustainable course, protecting infrastructure investment and social spending, strengthening public financial management, increasing diamond revenue transparency and restructuring the central bank.

Announcing the SMP in June, the IMF said Zimbabwe’s agreement was a ‘strong signal’ of the administration’s commitment to reform. ‘A successful implementation of the SMP would be an important stepping stone toward ing Zimbabwe re-engage with the international community,’ it said.

Late last year Zimbabwe failed to secure an additional loan from international lenders after the IMF and World Bank found its eligibility for assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative was unclear. 

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