MALAWI RELIEVED OF 1BN DEBT

THE World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday announced a debt reduction package for Malawi that when fully implemented would make the African nation eligible for relief worth one billion dollars. The relief envisioned for Malawi is worth $643m in present value terms, according to a Bank-IMF statement, which added that over the next 20 years the country will save an average of $50m a year, or 2.5% of annual gross domestic product in the 2001-2009 period. The Bank will relieve Malawi of the obligation to repay it $331m in present value debt, while the assistance offered by the Fund is worth $30m. At the same time, the IMF approved a $58m loan to Malawi to help finance economic and structural reform. – AFP

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