- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided today to restore Zimbabwe’s voting and related rights, and its eligibility to use resources from the IMF’s General Resources Account (GRA), following a request from Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
However, the IMF has said that notwithstanding the restoration of the eligibility to use GRA resources, Zimbabwe will not be able to use resources from the GRA or the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) until it fully settles its arrears to the PRGT of about $140 million.
“Access to IMF lending resources is also subject to IMF policies on the use of such resources, including a track record of sound policies and the resolution of arrears to official creditors, which would require donor support. Following today’s decision any remaining issues on further normalization of relations will be addressed over time,” the IMF stressed in a statement.
The Fund also said a number of remedial measures remain in place, as Zimbabwe still has outstanding arrears to the PRGT. It those were the declaration of non-cooperation; the suspension of IMF technical assistance, except in targeted areas; and the removal of Zimbabwe from the list of PRGT-eligible countries.
In 2001, Zimbabwe started to incur arrears to both the GRA and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), now renamed the PRGT. As a result, the IMF’s Executive Board imposed a number of escalating measures and declared Zimbabwe ineligible to use the general resources of the IMF, and removed Zimbabwe from the list of countries eligible to borrow resources under the PRGF.
In 2002, the Executive Board adopted a declaration of non-cooperation regarding Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the IMF, and suspended the provision of technical assistance to Zimbabwe. In 2003, Zimbabwe’s voting rights at the IMF were also suspended and compulsory withdrawal procedures were initiated. It was only in May 2009, in view of a significant improvement in Zimbabwe’s cooperation on economic policies, that the IMF approved the provision of technical assistance in some targeted areas.
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