The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said it was ready to help Zimbabwe craft a debt clearance strategy anchored on economic reforms. This follows remarks by outgoing British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing that her country would support an interim staff-monitored program for Zimbabwe to quickly clear its arrears. Gerry Rice, Director of Communications Department at the IMF said,
…What I would say is we see the new administration of President Mnangagwa has expressed commitment to strong economic reforms and supporting reforms will require a comprehensive stabilization and structural reform program from the authorities and financial support from the international community to provide space for these reforms.
Where the IMF is, we stand ready to help the authorities design a reform package that can help facilitate the clearance of external payment arrears to international development banks and bilateral official creditors and that then would open the way for fresh financing from the internal community including potentially the IMF.
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But, again, just to stress as we said before, potential financial support from the Fund is conditional on the clearance of those arrears to the World Bank, the AFDB and financing assurances from bilateral official creditors. We are working with the Zimbabwean authorities in the meantime to provide policy advice and technical assistance that might help could help move that process forward.