MANAGUA: The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it will close its office in Nicaragua in August because its job was done helping the country reduce debt and poverty, and to get on the path to sustainable growth.
“This decision reflects the success Nicaragua has had in maintaining macroeconomic stability and growth” since the conclusion of a debt-reduction program in 2011, the IMF’s representative in the country, Juan Zalduendo, told a media conference.
He added that the IMF would maintain its six other offices in Latin America — in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Brazil and Peru.
The head of Nicaragua’s central bank, Ovidio Reyes, told the same media conference that the closure showed the country’s “good macroeconomic results” in recent years.
The IMF opened its Nicaragua office in 1995 to supervise programs aimed at stabilizing the poor Central American nation’s economy and reining in high foreign debt in the wake of decades of revolution and war.
In 2005, the IMF included Nicaragua in its debt relief program under its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. Nicaragua successfully exited the program in 2011.
In the last decade the country has posted growth of over four percent a year, except in 2009 during the global financial crisis.
Last year it announced that between 2009 and 2014 it had cut the proportion of its population living in poverty from 45 percent to around 30 percent — an achievement hailed in a February report by the IMF.