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Africa News Thu, 26 Mar 2020

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Global lenders clear Somalia for debt relief

KRISTALINA  IMF Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss

Somalia is finally back in the global financial fold after the World Bank and International Monetary Fund said the government had taken the necessary steps to be eligible for billions of US dollars in debt relief.

The announcement is expected to see the country's debt reduced from $5.2bn (£4.3bn) to just a tenth of that over the next three years.

World Bank’s Somalia country representative Hugh Riddell told the BBC that this was the beginning of a wider and coordinated process to relief Somalia’s debt.

“The structure is that the country delivers reforms, it negotiates debt relief conditions with its creditors and once those conditions have been delivered, debt relief is then provided," Mr Riddell said.

Somalia had not made repayments since the onset of the civil war 30 years ago, making it impossible to access loans from international lenders.

Debt cancellation for Somalia means that government can acquire funds needed to improve services across the country.

Reacting to the development, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire it was like “a second liberation after the first which was the independence of the country, to reach where we have reached".

He told BBC’s Maggie Mutesi that:

"The timing is also at time we are going through a difficult challenge…the resources we will have access to through the financial institutions and the development partners will give our country an opportunity to provide services to our people and more importantly to combat the coronavirus that is terrorising our global order."

The timing is also at time we are going through a difficult challenge…the resources we will have access to through the financial institutions and the development partners will give our country an opportunity to provide services to our people and more importantly to combat the coronavirus that is terrorising our global order."

"In a country like ours that is having challenges in security and terrorism, we’ve put in place strategies that mean you defeat terrorism through economic growth, through empowering youth and women, through creating jobs and allocation of resources in a fair and transparent manner."

In a country like ours that is having challenges in security and terrorism, we’ve put in place strategies that mean you defeat terrorism through economic growth, through empowering youth and women, through creating jobs and allocation of resources in a fair and transparent manner."

Source: bbc.com

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