Somalia has received approval for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative from the IMF and World Bank, translating into substantial savings of $4.5 billion for the country. This strategic move has significantly slashed Somalia’s external debt from 64% of GDP in 2018 to less than 6% by the close of 2023.
World Bank’s Optimistic Stance: Debt Relief to Fuel Economic Strengthening, Poverty Reduction, and Job Creation
In a statement, the World Bank expressed optimism about the positive impact of this debt relief, stating, “This debt relief will facilitate access to critical additional financial resources that will help Somalia strengthen its economy, reduce poverty, and promote job creation.”
The $4.5 billion debt relief package comprises contributions from various entities, with the IMF providing $343.2 million, IDA contributing $448.5 million, the African Development Fund (ADF) offering $131.0 million, and other multilateral creditors contributing $573.1 million. Notably, bilateral and commercial creditors extended substantial support, contributing a significant sum of $3.0 billion. Bilateral creditors include members of the Paris Club, creditors from the Arab Coordination Group, and other official bilateral creditors.
Somalia’s Reform Milestones: Thirteen Out of Fourteen Completion Point Triggers Successfully Addressed
The World Bank highlights Somalia’s commendable progress in implementing structural reforms, successfully addressing thirteen out of fourteen floating Completion Point triggers. These achievements span critical areas such as public financial and expenditure management, domestic revenue mobilization, governance, social sectors, and statistics.
In an additional positive development, the IMF Executive Board granted a waiver for the adoption and implementation of a unified import duty tariff schedule at all ports, further enhancing Somalia’s economic landscape.