IMF Mission Arrives in Ethiopia Amid Loan Deadline Pressure

A senior finance ministry official announced on Thursday that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission has commenced its work in Ethiopia. The visit comes as the nation faces a critical deadline with major creditor countries to secure a loan from the international lender.

Last month, IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack had indicated that the fund would dispatch a mission to the Horn of Africa nation to discuss its request for a loan program. However, the specific purpose of the mission’s visit was not disclosed by the ministry official.

In December, the Paris Club of developed creditor nations had cautioned that Ethiopia’s agreement with its bilateral creditors, excluding China, to suspend debt payments until 2025 could be nullified if the country fails to secure an IMF loan by March 31, 2024.

Furthermore, Ethiopia encountered its third default in as many years in December when it missed a payment on its $1 billion Eurobond. In light of these financial challenges, Ethiopia is engaged in discussions with the IMF to borrow approximately $3.5 billion under a reform program, according to three sources familiar with the matter who spoke in December.

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