Zambia is on the brink of defaulting on its foreign debt after it missed a payment of more than $40m (£30.5m) last month.
A so-called grace period will expire on Friday, making it Africa’s first country to default on its sovereign debt since the coronavirus pandemic.
Zambia was already struggling to service its $12bn external debt load.
The pandemic has aggravated pre-existing financial pressures, putting an additional burden on health services and depressing economic activity.
The country has asked for a delay to interest payments until April next year but creditors have not yet agreed.