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IMF chief pledges support for Malawi president’s aid request

By AFP
29 September 2022   |   3:55 pm
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva met with Malawi's President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Thursday and committed to provide support to the country, as it faces economic challenges and "unsustainable" public debt.

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a conference hosted by the Vatican on economic solidarity, at the Vatican, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva met with Malawi’s President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Thursday and committed to provide support to the country, as it faces economic challenges and “unsustainable” public debt.

The government of the East African nation has been in discussions with the Washington-based crisis lender for months on its request for an aid program to help stabilize the economy.

Georgieva said she had a “productive” discussion with Chakwera “on the difficult economic situation facing Malawi,” and expressed her “resolute support” for the country.

“I was impressed by the President’s unwavering commitment to forge ahead with ambitious reform efforts to help improve the lives of the Malawian people and to firmly restore macroeconomic stability, including tackling unsustainable public debt,” she said in a statement.

An IMF team is expected to visit the country “very soon to discuss next steps and explore options to address Malawi’s immediate financing needs and support its reform program,” she added.

The fund projects the country will see modest growth of 2.2 percent this year, but inflation is approaching 11 percent, and the government faces a growing debt burden and a high risk of debt distress.