International Monetary Fund and World Bank endorse Zimbabwe’s plan to clear over $2 billion in foreign arrears

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At a meeting in Indonesia, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank approved of Zimbabwe’s road map to clear more than $2 billion in foreign arrears.

Ncube said “all the cooperating partners and creditors present uniformly expressed their support for Zimbabwe and its arrears clearance road map”. The finance minister, who is attending the IMF and World Bank meeting in Bali, Indonesia, said the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank also backed his two-year economic recovery plan.

The western donors urged Ncube to diligently implement his two-year economic recovery plan, which includes cuts on spending and the government’s wage bill. The recovery plan will also involve the privatisation of loss making state-owned firms.

Zimbabwe, which adopted the US dollar after hyperinflation is currently burdened by acute shortage of cash dollars. Prices of basic goods, medicines and building materials have been on the rise in the past few days.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to revive the struggling economy by repaying foreign debts that the country has defaulted on since 1999. Zimbabwe’s economic problems include a $17 billion foreign and domestic debt, as well as a $1.8 billion trade deficit that has worsened dollar shortages.

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