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IMF's Georgieva says supports debt relief for Somalia

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Saturday that she supports Somalia's efforts to achieve debt relief through the global lender's Highly Indebted Poor Countries program.

In a statement issued after her meeting in Washington with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, Georgieva said Somalia was committed to making further reforms. The African nation has about $4.7 billion in external debt, account for about 100% of its GDP, which the Fund has declared to be unsustainable.

"I assured the Prime Minister of the IMF’s full support for Somalia’s efforts to secure debt relief, including working with the membership of the Fund to secure the financial resources necessary to clear arrears to the IMF and cover the costs of debt relief,” Georgieva said. (Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal Editing by Paul Simao)