IMF setting up donor trust fund

US$45 billion to bring Zim to 1996 level

welcome_to_zimbabwe.jpgAnalysts say no one will be coming to Zimbabwe with the US$45 billion the IMF says is needed to restore economy

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The power-sharing government that also includes the smaller MDC
formation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is desperately
seeking US$2 billion in emergency funding and US$8 billion in the long
term to help stabilise an economy ravaged by a decade of
hyper-inflation, unemployment above 90 percent and political violence.

key Western donors have not been forthcoming, demanding that the
government carry far reaching political and media reforms and end a
fresh wave of farm invasions before they consider releasing any money.

said the IMF and the World Bank had agreed to set up the trust fund
during the just ended Spring Meeting of the Brettonwood institutions in

The IMF has agreed to set up a trust fund to mobilise
resources for Zimbabwe, Biti told the BBC in London last Thursday but
did not give details.

Senior government officials said the fund
was intended to bypass Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon
Gono, whom critics accuse of printing money and raiding private
accounts to shore up Mugabe's previous government.

re-appointment is being contested by Tsvangirai and a smaller faction
of the Movement for Democratic Change and donors also want Gono removed
from the RBZ.

Zimbabwe owes the IMF US$89 million while the
country's arrears with the World Bank stood at US$600 million. The
African Development Bank says it was owed US$429 million as of last

The Finance Minister met British Foreign Secretary David
Milliband and the secretary for Africa, Mark Malloch-Brown last week
but details of their meeting were not immediately available.


said the IMF projected that Zimbabwe would require more than US$40
billion to stabilise the country and restore it to mid 1990s level when
the country was the second largest economy in southern Africa after
South Africa.

The IMF in its latest report says that we will
need US$45 billion between now and 2015 to return Zimbabwe's economy to
the level it was in 1996, Biti said.

Economic analysts said the
figure showed that Zimbabwe's economic collapse was more severe than
initially imagined and that it would take at least a decade to

Zimbabwe has become a basket case of the region,
relying on food handouts after the commercial farm sector was plunged
into chaos following Mugabe's decision to seize white-owned commercial
farms to resettle poorly equipped blacks.

There is no one,
including the IMF itself, who will put such amount of money on the
table and it means the scale of economic damage is far greater than
what we have all been saying, John Robertson Robertson, a consultant
economist said.

The key sectors of the economy, agriculture,
mining, tourism and manufacturing are all struggling and need huge
foreign currency injection to raise production from current levels of
below15 percent of capacity.

African countries have so far
pledged US$400 million in credit lines to critical industries such as
food processing and fertiliser manufacturing, Biti said.


Post published in: Agriculture

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