The World Bank announced on Wednesday that it would disburse $100 million for Zambia, despite significant delays in debt restructuring procedures as creditors drag their feet.
According to The News Agency of Nigeria, Zambia received a 275 million USD grant from the World Bank in October to aid in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the fallout from the war in Ukraine, and its debt issue.
In 2020, Zambia became the first African nation to default under COVID-19, but the restructuring of its over 15 billion dollar external debt with creditors including China and Eurobond holders has been significantly delayed.
World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement that “Zambia urgently needs debt relief to restore medium-term debt sustainability and attract the new investment needed for growth and jobs.
“I remain deeply concerned by the slow pace of the creditors’ committee and the impact of the delays on growth and poverty,” he added.
According to the statement, Zambia has kept up with the implementation of agreed-upon structural policies to promote macroeconomic stability even while its official bilateral creditors put off debating and finalizing the country’s debt treatment under the G20 Common Framework.
On Tuesday, President Hakainde Hichilema stated that Zambia had reached an understanding with its creditors over the basic principles of debt restructuring and was now focused on finalizing the parameters of the accord by the end of March.