- Zimbabwe is to get a US$ 22 million from the World Bank as a contribution to rebuild its economy, but the bank has warned that the economically battered Southern African state must deal with its yester-years debts and arrears to qualify for more aid.
According to the Zimbabwean officials, the country owes the World Bank and the African Development Bank about $1.4 billion dollars, with a further $3 billion to the Paris Club of creditors.
The Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, estimates the total external debt to be around $5 billion dollars, saying first and foremost the country must address its debt and arrears.
Speaking at the joint press conference with the World Bank officials, Mr Biti also welcomed the World Bank technical mission in Harare, saying their presence would help a lot towards achieving the goals set in the country's first economic recovery programme announced in March following the forming of the unity government on 15 February.
Zimbabwe had made an over $8 billion economic recovery appeal, hoping to get its SADC sister countries to contribute and lobby international donors.
But, with the three months old unity government already said to be grumbling and the western nations still coming to Zimbabwe's aid cautiously, the country has mainly been able to attract humanitarian aid, with some direct aid trickling but followed with strong words and cautionary notes.
Many of the global donors and creditors have been coming up since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) partially lifted its ban on Zimbabwe and re-engaging in the country's economic rebuilding through technical assistance.
An IMF technical team is also currently in Harare to provide assistance in various areas, aimed at healing the sunk Zimbabwean economy.
The IMF said in a statement that areas to be worked on would include the tax policy and administration, financial systems as well as the overall financial sector supervision and governance.
The Zimbabwean economy had dropped to the deepest end with a record hyperinflation. The country has since dropped its local currency which has undergone constant revisions to deal the Zero's on its value and has now officially taken the US Dollar and the South African Rand as the legal trading currencies.
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