Last month, government said it would draw US$140 million from the pool of the Special Drawing Rights awarded to Zimbabwe in 2009 and pay its arrears under the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
According to an IMF latest report, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Sudan remain in protracted arrears to the fund. IMF said Zimbabwe’s arrears to the PRGT have decreased slightly.
Zimbabwe now owes IMF about US$55 million. However, IMF said “cooperation on payments remained poor, cooperation on policies improved in 2010 before policy setbacks in 2011 cast significant uncertainties on economic prospects”.
Two members — Somalia and Sudan — have accumulated arrears dating back to the mid-1980s, accounting for 17% and 76% respectively of total arrears to the Fund. Zimbabwe, which has been in arrears to the PRGT since February 2001, accounts for the remaining 7%.
IMF said Zimbabwe’s arrears to the PRGT had also reduced the balances available in the Reserve Account, as about US$45 million was withdrawn from the Reserve Account to repay PRGT lenders.
In 2010, Zimbabwe made five payments to the Fund totalling US$4,1 million (equivalent to SDR 2,6 million). These payments exceeded Zimbabwe’s new obligations falling due for the period and the authorities’ commitment to quarterly payments to the Fund of about US$100 000.
Zimbabwe’s failure to clear the arrears means that the country cannot access the US$93,1 million which has been escrowed since 2009 when IMF gave members countries bail-outs in the wake of the global financial crisis.
In August 2009, IMF Executive Board approved a US$250 billion (SDR161, 2 billion) General SDR allocation to all the 186 member countries in response to the global financial crisis.
A further US$33 billion (SDR21,5 billion) special SDR allocation was made on September 9 2009.
From the bailout, Zimbabwe was allocated US$505 million, of which US$411,9 million was under the General SDR allocation of August 28 2009, while the Special allocation of US$93,1 million was escrowed pending the clearance of the outstanding arrears to the PRGT.