Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zim piles on more debt

Zim piles on more debt

By Reuters
Thursday, 26 January 2012 15:09

HARARE – Zimbabwe is having to bolster its $4 billion 2012 budget with $110 
million from an 2009 emergency IMF fund, a measure of the extent of an acute 
foreign exchange shortage in the southern African nation.

Finance minister Tendai Biti, who has previously opposed using money from 
the $500 million IMF emergency facility, said “liquidity challenges and the 
need to address our infrastructure deficit” now outweighed the need not to 
take on more debt.

In all, Harare owes multilateral lenders including the IMF and World Bank 
about $7 billion and is in arrears on its repayments, precluding it from 
accessing any credit beyond the special financial crisis fund.

The money would be used for infrastructure, credit lines for manufacturing 
and support for agriculture, he told reporters.

So far, the government had used $150 million of the funds for agriculture 
and infrastructure projects, and $142 million to pay off a debt to the IMF’s 
Poverty Reduction and Growth Fund (PGRF), he added.

Biti also said Zimbabwe was unlikely to meet a target of 1,8 million tonnes 
of maize in its 2011-2012 harvest due to late rains, but insisted the nation 
of 13 million people would not need significant imports.


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