© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund – World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
LUSAKA (Reuters) – The World Bank will issue $100 million to Zambia amid a significant delay in debt restructuring, the bank said on Wednesday.
In October, the World Bank approved a $275 million grant for Zambia to help the southern African country recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spillover from the pandemic. war in Ukraine and get out of the debt crisis.
Zambia was the first African country to default on its debt in the COVID-19 era as it grapples with mounting foreign debt.
“Zambia urgently needs debt forgiveness to restore medium-term debt sustainability and attract the new investment needed for growth and jobs,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement.
“I remain deeply concerned about the slow pace of creditor committee activity and the impact of the delay on growth and poverty,” he added.
Zambia has agreed to debt restructuring principles with its creditors and is focused on signing an agreement on terms with them by the end of March 2023, President Hakainde Hichilema said on Tuesday.