Transcript of IMF Press Briefing

May 20, 2021

MR. RICE: Well, good morning, everyone, and welcome to this press briefing on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. I am Gerry Rice of the Communication Department, and as usual, our briefing this morning will be embargoed until 10:30 a.m., and that's Washington, D.C. time. I want to wish everyone well, and safe measures. I hope everyone is doing okay, in these difficult times.

Let me make a few announcements, a few informational things, and then I will turn to your questions both online, and onscreen. And it's great to see so many colleagues on the screen today. So, a couple of -- some announcements, actually. Just earlier today, a short time ago, the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, took part in the Vienna Economic Dialogue on Gender, Money, and Finance, along with Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, and others. That just finished up a short time ago.

And I would like to highlight one other important development for us, for the IMF today, and I will bring it to your attention. We recently conducted a review, a comprehensive review of our surveillance. Our surveillance, as those of you who follow the Fund know, is one of the core activities of the IMF. If you think of the core activities of the IMF being lending, capacity development, and economic analysis, then surveillance is really that economic analysis and assessment that we do. So, it's one of the three core functions of the IMF. So, quite important.

You hear us talk about the annual Article IV Assessments that we do in every IMF Member Country, 190 countries. We do that once a year. Well, the surveillance function is essentially that. And then of course, we have the global surveillance that we do via the World Economic Outlook, the Global Financial Stability Report, the Fiscal Monitor, and so on.

So, today, we are releasing a review of our surveillance, our Board concluded that review on May the 10th. It's the first comprehensive review of our surveillance in a number of years. Since 2014, actually, so it takes place in these unprecedented times we are still in the pandemic. And it aims to make our surveillance, our economic analysis and assessment more timely, more topical, more targeted, better informed; in short, modernized. And you know, aligned with all that is happening in the world.

It identifies some key priorities. And again, at this time of very high uncertainty related to the pandemic, but it also takes into account the climate change, inequality, digital transformation, demographics, and other factors. And again, these will be the priorities guiding our surveillance, our economic analysis and assessment as we go forward.

So, again, you can see I am treating this with seriousness, with importance, it is a core function of the IMF. And of great importance to our member countries.

We think this review will better position us to support the membership, to help our member countries. And it reflects a great deal of consultation with them as well as with other stakeholders. And here is the key part for you, the documents are being made available today. This Comprehensive Surveillance Review is being made public today. And in fact, will be on the website,, by the end of this Press Briefing.

Okay? That's the -- we call it the CSR in our jargon, the Comprehensive Surveillance Review. And there's a very good press release that summarizes all of this. So, take a look.

A couple of other announcements that I think will be of interest to you. Tomorrow morning, so this is Friday, Kristalina Georgieva will participate in the Global Health Summit. Jointly organized by the Italian G20 Presidency, and partnership with the European Commission, co-Chaired by Prime Minister Draghi, and the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. And you will be able to watch that live and hear the Managing Director speak at that event tomorrow.

Amongst other things, she will talk about some research that IMF staff, we will be publishing tomorrow in parallel with this Summit on the COVID-19 pandemic. That publication, that research has been led by our Economic Counselor, Gita Gopinath, and Ruchir Agarwal, who is in the Asia and Pacific Department. So, Gita, and Ruchir, and the team have put together what we think is a very topical and indeed a very important piece of research.

It analyzes the multiple dimensions of the fight against the pandemic and proposes pragmatic action plans to expeditiously defeat the pandemic around the world with associated financing requirements. So, that's coming your way tomorrow. AS I said, a piece of staff research that will be in parallel to the Managing Director speaking at the Global Health Summit tomorrow morning. So, stay tuned for that.

A couple of other things, next Tuesday, May 25th, Kristalina Georgieva will be with David Ignatius of The Washington Post, to discuss where we are in the global economy, where we are in the pandemic. And again, that event, Washington Post Live event, fairly well-known, will also be streamed live on the IMF's website.

A few days later, May 29th, Kristalina will deliver opening remarks at the International Finance Forum, being held in Beijing. And again, that will be livestreamed, available to you.

And finally, from June 2nd to June 4th, the Bank for International Settlements, the BIS, the Banque de France, the IMF, and the Network for Greening the Financial System are joining forces to cosponsor a virtual conference on how in practice, can the financial sector take immediate action against climate change related risks. Again, a very topical issue. And the opening/closing panels of that event, in which Kristalina Georgieva will be participating, will be livestreamed to you.

So, thank you, for your patience. I apologize for going on at some length. But I do think these are topics and information that is of some interest to you, so that's why I spent some time on that.

I will take as many questions as I can from you this morning. Let's open it up, and I see Delphine Touitou, from AFP, Delphine, come on in.

QUESTIONER: Good morning, Gerry. Sorry my camera is still not working, and I don’t see you, and you don’t see me, I guess. But still, so I have two questions. The first one, I was wondering if the IMF plans to bring back its employees in-person as the restrictions have been relaxed in D.C.?

And the second, second question is about Chad. Because Chad has requested a debt restructuring. We have some sources in Paris telling us that there is a meeting, maybe yesterday or maybe in the coming days, about this issue. And I was wondering if the discussion is still going on, as the condition, the political conditions, you see the condition changed since the President died. So, could you update the situation around Chad, and its huge issue of debt restructuring? Thank you.

MR. RICE: Well, thank you, Delphine. And in fact, we can see you, I see your name in the screen. I could see that you wanted a question. But I fortunately, we can all hear you, which is good.

So, you had two questions. One about the IMF and the physical reopening of our buildings, and then you had one on Chad. Let me take the one on the IMF, where I can tell you that like many others after remote working for the past year, we will resume limited operations at our Washington, D.C. Headquarters, with a phased return of staff to our buildings beginning June 1st, June 1.

This easing of work-from-home status reflects the improving health and safety conditions related to COVID-19 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. And by working virtually over this past year, as I think you know, the Fund has been able to maintain full service to our member countries during the pandemic. Indeed, in many ways, unprecedented service in the past year in the midst of the pandemic.

So, June 1st, a phased return of staff to the buildings here in Washington. That said, many aspects of our virtual mode of operation will continue even as we move gradually to implement out Headquarters Resumption Plans in the months ahead, and as of course, as conditions allow. We all have to monitor this as things go forward.

And just in terms of our press briefing here, let me add, we haven’t made a determination yet about the return to a physical press briefing with people actually in the room, but stay tuned, and we will keep you posted. Thank you for asking about the IMF and our staff return.

On Chad, Delphine, the Managing Director at the Africa Summit that was held in Paris, just a few days ago, talked about the Common Framework, which brings together all creditors, including non-Paris Club Members, and the private sector, brings them together. And this is important to provide broad and durable debt relief. And as we've discussed here before, Chad has applied for coverage under this Common Framework.

And in regard to your specific questions, on Chad, I can tell you the Creditor Committee had a technical meeting earlier this week. And a follow-up meeting is planned for next week. So, I think that was what you were asking.

Chad urgently needs debt relief to help it recover from this crisis and success with Chad's common framework request will also help more countries step forward if they need debt restructuring. I hope that helps you. Thanks for the question on Chad.

I am looking to a question on India. I am not hearing you, unfortunately. But I can see your question and I am going to take it. This is from Lalit Jha, PTI, Press Trust India. And Lalit is asking, do you have an update on the situation in India? Is the IMF providing any assistance on how to take care of the economy, and also ensure people do not slip below the poverty line?

We talked about India a couple of weeks ago. Our great sympathies and support to the people of India, and what is happening there relative to the pandemic, to those who have lost their lives and are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. We are following the events in India very closely. And we hope that the number of new infections will continue to decline.

As for the IMF, we continue to engage closely with the Indian Authorities. We stand ready to strengthen our dialogue and scale-up our technical collaboration. The human tragedy in India is a stark reminder that the pandemic continues to be a grave threat globally. At the IMF we are redoubling our effort to foster global collaboration. We welcome the announcements by several countries to provide immediate support to India. And I would reiterate that a multilateral response is critical to overcome the pandemic in India and globally.

On the economic impact, India is an important economy globally. We will be revisiting our growth forecast for India, and for the global economy in July. We will update, coming your way in July, the World Economic Outlook Update. And for India, on the economy, it will be critical to continue with a coordinated policy response to fight the pandemic. Including through accelerating the vaccination campaign, providing fiscal resources to the health sector, and social support to the most vulnerable.

And we see these as the immediate policy priorities. And again, all our support and sympathies for India, facing this crisis right now.

Let me turn to Eric Martin, of Bloomberg. Good morning, Eric. Good to see you.

QUESTIONER: Good morning, Gerry, can you hear me?

MR. RICE: Yes, Sir.

QUESTIONER: Very good. I wanted to ask you about the IMF's exchanges and interaction with Tanzania. And what form of support has the country requested? Does Tanzania want the maximum amount that is available to it from the IMF? And what -- well, what is the timeline for talks -- have they indeed started in earnest? And I also wanted to ask you about Argentina. We saw comments I believe over the weekend from President Fernandez about wanting to get a deal with the IMF as soon as possible. And I was wondering if you could give an update on whether the IMF has begun its Article IV process, or any other steps in the process for reaching a program in Argentina if the Article IV is still the first step in that process. Thank you.

MR. RICE: Okay. Thanks very much, Eric. Let me take your question on Argentina. On Tanzania, Eric, I'll follow up with you after this meeting in terms of any information I can give you on Tanzania. [Editor’s note: Tanzania has requested a Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) at 100 percent of quota; we are ready to enter technical discussions as soon as the authorities are available. Details on access and timing will become available once discussions are under way. Initial discussions will focus on assessing the impact of the pandemic, including on fiscal and external accounts, and Tanzania’s planned policy response.]

On Argentina, I can give you a bit more. As you know probably, less than a week ago, Kristalina Georgieva met with Argentina President Alberto Fernandez in Rome, in the context of a seminar that they were both attending.

They had a meeting there and the managing director issued a statement at that time. I won't repeat everything that's in there. But she described that meeting with President Fernandez as very positive ‑‑ and I'm just looking at it, a very positive meeting.

They talked about the urgent need to continue to fight the pandemic, of course, to preserve lives and livelihoods, the unique challenges facing middle income countries, and the importance of global cooperation in helping to ensure more equitable and durable economic recovery, especially to support vulnerable countries.

They also discussed, coming to your question, Eric, the important efforts the Argentine authorities are making to fight the pandemic to address the deep social and economic challenges facing the country which, of course, have been aggravated by the pandemic.

They committed to continuing our work together on an IMF‑supported program that can help Argentina and its people overcome these challenges, economic stability being one of the main goals, protecting the most vulnerable being another of the main objective, and the path towards sustainable and inclusive growth.

So we continue to work together constructively, as she said, as Kristalina said in her statement. In fact, just again in her statement, she expressed her solidarity with the people of Argentina in these difficult times.

I don't have an update for you, Eric, on the timing of the Article IV, or the timing of the new program, the discussions are continuing in constructive mode. And I will update you on Article IV status, program status, as we go forward.

Let me, since we're on Argentina, and I see Lilliana, Raphael, and others there, let me call on them, if they have anything further on Argentina, and then we can move on to other topics. Lilliana, do you want to come in?

QUESTIONER: I want to follow the question of the colleague of Bloomberg about the meeting with Alberto Fernandez and Kristalina Georgieva because in Argentina it's the idea that the program is very soon to be announced. And I don't know why they are assuming that we are going to have a program very soon. Can you speak more about that?

MR. RICE: Thanks, Lilliana. Raphael, do you want to come in?

QUESTIONER: Yes, thanks, Gerry.

MR. RICE: Good to see you, Raphael.

QUESTIONER: Good to see you, too. About the meeting between the managing director and President Fernandez, did the managing director express or raise any concerns regarding the divisions in the Argentine government about how the economic program should look like and the political standing of the Minister of Economy, Martin Guzman, who has appeared to be weakened in the last couple of weeks? Thanks.

MR. RICE: Thank you, Raphael. I'm going to take one other question on Argentina that's online from Martín Kanenguiser from Infobae. I hope I got your name right there, Martin. After the meeting between President Fernandez and Kristalina Georgieva, do you think it's possible that Argentina can get a reduction in the surcharges on its loan from the IMF? And Martin also asking a bit like Lilliana, the country is looking for an agreement in the short‑term is that possible?

So on the timing, Lilliana and Martin, as I said, I don't have any specific dates for you on the timing. An important meeting last week obviously between the managing director and the president discussions continue in constructive mode, but I don't have anything specific for you today on that nor do I have anything, as you probably expect me to say, Raphael, on political developments in Argentina.

We don't really comment on that. I do know that the minister was party to the discussions last week, so continues to be our interlocutor there.

On Martin's question about the reduction in the surcharges, again, this was something that was actually discussed between Kristalina Georgieva and President Fernandez. And in her statement, to which I referred, the managing director said, "I took note of President Fernandez's request for a reform of the IMF's surcharges policy and I will consult with the membership on this issue."

So I think that was an important statement from the managing director a few days ago on this topic. Maybe just a bit of background on surcharges, it's a detailed issue that not many people, you know, have a lot of the technical information on. Well, number one, any review would be the prerogative of our executive board representing our membership.

So it's not a decision that can be made by IMF management. It needs to be a decision made by our broad membership as reflected in our executive board. So that's what the managing director was referring to when she said, you know, "I will consult with the membership." That's what she was referring to there.

The surcharges on our lending are an important part of what we call our risk management framework because they allow the Fund to continue to play our role, which is as the global lender of last resort in times of crisis. That's the IMF's specific role and something we have seen in full display in this pandemic.

So, in short, the surcharges help to strengthen our balance sheet which allows us to continue to provide financial support at affordable rates to members in need, often ‑‑ and this is important, when they are locked out from capital markets or facing interest rates that are unsustainably high. That's where the IMF can help them.

And, in that vein, it's important to note that most IMF lending to the poorest countries, to low‑income countries, is extended under our Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which is provided on highly concessional terms, often at zero interest rate and without any surcharges. Okay?

So, again, I think this context on the surcharges issues is important. And surcharges are only paid when the outstanding credit of a member country is large and prolonged and the size increases when the level is exceeded for a prolonged period of time.

So I thought that was worth just explaining a little bit on the surcharges issue and there is lots more information available if you want it on our website. Let me take some other questions. I see Andrea online. Good to see you, Andrea, from Reuters.

QUESTIONER: Hi, hey, Gerry. So I have especially a quick one hopefully. On Tunisia, the Tunisians have now said that they have no intention of requesting a rescheduling of their foreign debt but were, you know, waiting to hear a little bit more about your discussions with them.

Can you give us any further update on what's happening with Tunisia and how large of a package they could possibly get?

And then, on Zambia, JP Morgan is reporting that the Zambians will get an EFF ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ an ECF, an extended credit facility, that that will be what they negotiate with you. And I wonder if you could clarify whether that means that they are pulling back from the debt restructuring under the common framework, or whether that would be those two things that go hand‑in‑hand?

And then I had a question about the Fed. So there are indications, of course, that the Fed is going is considering changes in monetary policy and that it's time to start doing that ‑‑ suggestions at least.

And I wonder from the IMF's point of view whether you could say whether you think it's too soon, or whether that will have to depend on the economic development in each of the sort of advanced economies to change this accommodative policies?

MR. RICE: Thanks very much for those questions, Andrea. Let me try and take them. On Tunisia, what I can tell you is that, yes, the Tunisian authorities have requested an IMF program support. That happened while the Tunisian representatives were in Washington earlier this month.

We are in close contact, of course, with the Tunisian authorities to understand the technical details of their reform program. We stand ready to support Tunisia and its people to cope with the challenges they're facing including the impact of COVID and to get back on the path of an inclusive drawbridge recovery and restore sustainable finances.

So we have received the request, Andrea, and we have received, more recently, the economic reform plan from the Tunisian authorities, their plan. And so where we are is that our technical discussions are currently focused on the understanding, the details of this plan. That's where we are right now on Tunisia.

On Zambia, and I know that Matthew, who is online had a question on Zambia, too, so I hope this will help him as well. Where are we on Zambia? Again, they have requested a financing arrangement with the IMF to support their reform efforts. And we had discussions with the Zambian authorities earlier this year and they continued through this month and that would be a request for an extended credit facility, Andrea, which you asked about.

What I can tell you is that there was broad agreement on the macroeconomic framework and notable progress was made in detailing the key policy measures to address the imbalances currently facing Zambia and to enable a return to sustained growth with ‑‑ and this is important for us, enhanced fiscal space for social and development spending.

That said, key challenges remain including to implement reforms to correct current large fiscal imbalances, increasing revenues to provide the needed fiscal space to achieve those development objectives that I mentioned including through debt and expenditure transparency and halting the incurrence of domestic arrears. And, again, I want to emphasize, ensuring that the social protection scheme is fully funded with timely payments.

The Zambian authorities have reaffirmed their continued commitment to reforms and we look forward to continuing those discussions towards an ECF program as key measures are taken. And, of course, the timing as to when those measures are taken is, as always, in the hands of the authorities, in the hands of the Zambian government.

And just to tie it up on the common framework, Zambia has expressed its interest in the common framework. And to the best of my knowledge, Andrea, those discussions are continuing. On the U.S. and the Fed, we believe that the measures taken by the Fed in recent times are appropriate, and have been very fundamentally important to the U.S. response to the pandemic. And indeed important to the global response to the pandemic. Chairman Powell has stressed that his decisions will be data dependent and that they will be communicated clearly and in a timely way. I think he and the Fed have been following those principles very well. And, of course, that will be important going forward. I don't really have anything beyond that, Andrea, specifically on the Fed at this point.

QUESTIONER: Can I just follow up real quickly --

MR. RICE: Okay.

QUESTIONER: -- on the common framework for Ethiopia. Do you know if I know that there are a variety of options under the common framework. Do you have any sense now of how the discussions are going with Ethiopia and whether that will definitely entail haircut, or whether we're just talking about extensions on the maturity of their loans?

MR. RICE: Yeah, I won't get into -- I can't get into the details of the discussions the under the common framework, but as soon as we have something, we will let you know. But I wouldn't comment on the details of any of those countries that are engaged with the common framework process at the moment. Thanks very much. Matthew, I took your name in vain. Let me turn to you now.

QUESTIONER: No, thanks a lot. Thanks. Thanks for the Zambia answer. I'll try to be quick as well. I'm sure you'll have something on this. There was a lot of news about Sudan coming out of the EU meeting. What's the status of actually getting them back on track with the IMF? Has the money actually come through. And also, I wanted to ask you about El Salvador. Said that they're wanting a program of like $1.3 billion. There's obviously been some serious, quick changes to the judiciary there and to the attorney general. I don't know if it's a political question where you were saying to Raphael. I guess I'm wondering in terms of kind of rule of law and the independence of state institutions, is there any thinking at the IMF, or have you heard particular member States have been asked by human rights groups to take action on this? And then just finally, there's a quote by Macky Sall about -- and you may dispute the numbers that of the 650 of the SDRs dedicated in terms of the pandemic that actually those devoted to Africa are dropped in the bucket. I'm pretty sure you dispute that, but what are the numbers and how do you dispute it? Thanks a lot.

MR. RICE: Hey, thanks, Matthew. Important topics. On Sudan, as you mentioned, there was the conference on Sudan just a few days ago in Paris. And we commented on that as Kristalina Georgieva said, the various announcements on Sudan coming out of Paris, we think are welcome. They're significant. They constitute a meaningful step towards achieving the pledges needed to finance the clearance of Sudan's arrears to the IMF and thus, paving the way for a debt relief for Sudan under the highly indebted poor countries initiative, so-called HIPC, which I'm sure you're familiar with. So, welcome meaningful steps taken the last few days. These steps together with satisfactory policy performance on Sudan's staff monitor program with the IMF, and Sudan's adoption of a poverty reduction strategy, which happened just recently, are the requirement for Sudan to reach what we call at the decision point on debt relief.

I would add that from in addition to the financial support for debt relief, Sudan will also need substantial concessional assistance in the years ahead to Fund its significant development needs and to fight poverty, reduce poverty. Despite the authorities strong reform implementation, the economic challenges facing Sudan remain significant as you know, and have been exacerbated as with so many countries by the by the COVID pandemic. So, what does that mean? That means that achieving strong, sustainable growth will require reductions in the enormous energy subsidies that burden Sudan's budget and with that to help free up space, fiscal space for social spending. The country also needs to build on the progress it has made to improve governance by implementing stronger measures to fight corruption and money laundering, and enhance the transparency of its fiscal processes. And reforms are also needed to reduce the role of the state in the economy through state on enterprises.

So, in summary, very important developments on Sudan in the last few days at meaningful progress made in Paris, but still some work to be done to get to the finish line in terms of the actual debt relief being implemented. I hope that answers your question, Matthew.

On El Salvador, I talked about this a couple of weeks ago when I was here. I don't have a great deal to add Matthew. Yes, the authorities have requested an IMF program. The size and are discussed during the staff missions, our staff engagement with the authorities, the missions as we call them. So, I don't have the details on that as yet. But what I can tell you is that the IMF mission feels that we have made progress in discussing macroeconomic and structural policies that could underpin a Fund-supported program.

These discussions will continue in the weeks ahead on policies relating to economic governance, fiscal transparency, and the anti-corruption framework. And I said, I didn't have details for. Now, we will have details for you when the virtual mission ends and the IMF team, staff team will communicate. And just as a reminder, I know that you know this Matthew, but those who don't follow El Salvador in the past year, our executive Board did approve some $389 million for emergency financial assistance to El Salvador. Part of that emergency financial assistance provided by the IMF in the past year to so many member countries. We've talked about that before. El Salvador was one of those countries. I appreciate your question on SDRs in Africa, Matthew, it's an important topic.

And again, there's been a lot of news and discussion about this just in the last couple of days with the Summit on Africa, on African financing, concluding in Paris just on Tuesday. So, Kristalina Georgieva was there. She talked about it. And there was another question.

QUESTIONER: Drop in the bucket was the quote I was asking you to respond to. Macky Saul called it “drop in the bucket”, 33 of the 650 million.

MR. RICE: I will come to that. Matthew, I was just going to say, another colleague is asking about this, Davison Kaiyo in Zimbabwe. I just want to recognize Davison, and he's also asking about this scale of Funding for Sub-Saharan Africa, which I think is the gist of what you're talking about to, Matthew. So, let me come to it.

A couple of things over the last year, just in terms of the IMF and Africa, we have provided, as I've mentioned here before, 13 times, our average annual lending to Sub-Saharan Africa in this past year. So, we have ramped up in a significant way. We are working with our membership to do much more. We've received support to increase access limits. So, we can scale up our zero-interest lending capacity through that poverty reduction in growth trust that I mentioned earlier, zero interest rates on that support. And coming to your points, Matthew, those of you who followed the Fund, know that big news recently was our membership backing this unprecedented allocation of Special Drawing Rights of $650 billion, by far the largest in our history. Once approved, which we hope to take to our Board in June, and we hope our Board of Governors will approve in August, all things proceeding well, that would make immediately available about $33 billion available to African members.

Again, this will boost their reserves and liquidity without adding to their debt, important points. Now, we are very encouraged, I would say, by what was said in Paris by several advanced and emerging market countries of their intention to on-lend part of their new SDRs at highly concessional terms. And doing this through mechanisms like the PRGT, which I just mentioned, will magnify the impact of the allocation for countries in need, including countries in Africa.

So, the potential and certainly our aspiration would be that the SDR allocation would enable a further substantial on lending of resources to Africa. And low-income countries, don't have the details of that, but as I say, that's our aspiration.

And we've got that experience this past year. There has been some on-lending of the already existing SDRs, via this PRGT to low-income countries. In fact, it has enabled us to triple our concessional lending to low-income countries in this past year as a result. So, I think this is significant, the financial needs of Africa are large. Kristalina Georgieva talked about it in her press conference at the end of the African Financing Summit. She said that we put Africa's additional financing needs for an adequate COVID-19 response at around 285 billion through 2025 and of this, 135 billion for low-income countries. Now, I'm not going to comment on what President Macky Saul said, but what Kristalina Georgieva said is, this is the bare minimum. And to do more would cost, she said “roughly twice as much”. So, we're well aware of the large financing needs of particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, but Africa, in general, low-income countries, in general. We have the aspiration that the SDR allocation upcoming can help. And the final thing I would say, Matthew, is that all of these efforts, additional resources, additional concessional financing, need to be complemented by debt relief. We've talked about the common framework and so on. They need to be complemented also by domestic reforms and domestic resource mobilization by the countries themselves and private sector investment. All of these things are very important. I do appreciate that question on Africa and SDRs. Thank you.

I'm going to take one last question. I'm running way over time here, but I want to take Davison Kaiyo's other question, our colleague from Zimbabwe is asking about Zimbabwe, and what programs do you think the country could pursue to engender economic growth? And do you think another staff monitored program from the IMF would be the best foot forward at the moment?

Davison, what I would say on that is, of course, we are very cognizant that the economic social situations in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply. Again, Zimbabwe, like virtually all other countries has been hit by COVID-19. In mid-March the Zimbabwe's finance minister announced that an IMF staff mission is expected in the second quarter of this year, followed by what he hoped would be the commencement of a new staff monitored program in the third quarter of this year. So, that's what you were asking about. The Fund continues to provide policy advice and capacity development to Zimbabwe. We are precluded from providing financial support at this point, due to an unsustainable debt and official external arrears at situation. However, again, IMF staff continues to actively engage with the Zimbabwean authorities, including through our policy dialogue data updates and provision of capacity development, and an IMF virtual staff mission to Zimbabwe is planned for the first half of June 2021, next month.

Let me leave it there. We've run on a bit this morning. Thank you all for the questions. Thank you for the great participation and thank you for your patience and sticking with me. I look forward to seeing you in the coming days at those events I mentioned at the top of the meeting. And look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks time. Please stay safe and well. Bye everyone.

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