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IMF chief backs debt relief bid for Somalia

The leader of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva has pledged her support for Somalia’s bid to seek debt relief.

In a statement on Saturday, Ms. Georgieva lauded the Somali government’s commitment to reform the country’s economy.

The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva had last week met with Somali Prime minister, Hassan Ali Kheire to discuss Somalia’s efforts to achieve debt relief through IMF’s Highly Indebted Poor Country program.

Ms. Georgieva expressed her readiness to support Somalia achieve its aim.

“I assured the Prime Minister of the IMF’s full support for Somalia’s efforts to secure debt relief, including working with the membership of the Fund to secure the financial resources necessary to clear arrears to the IMF and cover the costs of debt relief,” Georgieva said.

“We exchanged views on the importance of securing debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative as soon as possible,” she said in a statement.

Georgieva said the prime minister reiterated Somalia’s strong commitment to continuing to implement reforms and highlighted its completion of the 9th National Development plan.

“Maintaining strong performance, together with support from international partners, will pave the way for Somalia to receive debt relief soon,” Georgieva said.

In recent years, the Somali government has been trying to encourage the private sectors to increase and expand their production to take part in the rebuilding process of the country.

Following discussions with the sectors, tax agreements have been reached with airlines and telecom companies, giving the government more revenue.

Since last year, Somalia has been struggling to win the confidence of the International Community to secure lucrative benefits such as debt relief worth $4.6 billion owed to the World Bank, Internationally Monetary Fund and others.
The government launched a tax collection campaign as part of efforts to secure millions of dollars in domestic revenues to subsidize its donor-supported budget.

Somalia has not made a service or amortization payment since civil war broke out more than 25 years ago.

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