Nairobi(Mogadishu24)-A week long review meeting of Somalia’s debt relief process is going on in Nairobi for its second day, with the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank offices in Somalia in attendance.

The meeting is being chaired by Somalia’s Minister of Finance, Bihi Iman Egeh, and attended by representatives from various government institutions, including the Ministry of National Planning, the Central Bank of Somalia, the Ministry of Justice, and offices of the President and Prime Minister.

The sixth review meeting aims to discuss several key aspects, including the progress made by the Somali government in financial reforms, upcoming economic opportunities, existing challenges, and the status of Somalia’s debt relief efforts, which are nearing completion.

“I had the pleasure of opening the 6th review of the IMF program today. The week long discussions will assess our national reform progress, future economic opportunities and challenges in Somalia as we near the achievement of debt relief,” said Bihi Iman Egeh, Somalia’s Finance Minister on his official X account.

Just a month ago, Somalia received a huge boost in debt relief with a $75 million grant from the World Bank, aimed at strengthening efforts to build robust institutions. These grants are instrumental in helping the country achieve full and irrevocable debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The government of Russia also signed an agreement in Saint Petersburg, exempting $640 million of debt relief for the Federal Government of Somalia. The agreement was signed by Mr. Bihi Iman Egeh, Somali Minister of Finance, and Timur Igorevich Maksimov, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia.

On March 25, 2020, the executive boards of the International Monetary Fund and the International Development Bank (IDA) agreed that Somalia had met the requirements for debt relief under the HIPC initiative after meeting the three-year deadline set in 2018.

This review is the final stage of the (ECF) program, focused on reforming the country’s finances and is expected to yield results that will pave the way for Somalia’s anticipated full debt relief by the end of 2023.

These debt reliefs are huge achievement towards implementing potential reforms to build functional institutions, attract investments and achieve economic growth.

Somalia is also currently engaged in discussions with some remaining bilateral and multilateral creditors, in an effort to achieve debt relief.

Despite facing several challenges, Somalia has managed to maintain macroeconomic stability. The country’s institutional reforms and strengthened financial systems have played a vital role in its journey towards debt relief, which will clear the loans contracted during the pre-civil war era.

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