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Press Release No. 03/23
February 27, 2003
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20431 USA

Arrears Clearance by the Islamic State of Afghanistan

On February 26, 2003, the Islamic State of Afghanistan (Afghanistan) settled its overdue financial obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With the settlement of these arrears, which totaled SDR 8.1 million (about US$11.1 million), Afghanistan is now current on all its financial obligations to the IMF.

The settlement of arrears to the IMF is part of a coordinated plan under which Afghanistan is clearing arrears to the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank. Afghanistan's arrears to the Asian Development Bank were cleared on December 2, 2002, and arrears to the World Bank were cleared on February 24, 2003. The coordinated arrears clearance operation has been supported by grant contributions from Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.

The IMF has provided extensive policy advice and technical assistance to the Afghan authorities since January 2002. The technical assistance has focused on fiscal, monetary, and statistical areas with an emphasis on capacity building in the Ministry of Finance, Da Afghanistan Bank, and the Central Statistical Office. Progress has been made in a number of key areas, including improving fiscal management and, more recently, the successful introduction of a new national currency. The IMF expects to continue working closely with the Afghan authorities.





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