IMF ready to assist Zimbabwe

March 11, 2009 12:00 am

, HARARE, March 11 – The International Monetary Fund has said it is ready to "immediately" help Zimbabwe’s new unity government mend its inflation-ravaged economy, a government minister said Tuesday.

Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper as saying he had a "positive" meeting with a visiting IMF team that began its mission here Monday.

"They have told us that they are willing to immediately assist us," he said in the paper.

The IMF team is the first to visit Zimbabwe since December 2006, when the southern African country only narrowly avoided expulsion from the organisation.

Since then, the IMF has effectively suspended its dealings with Zimbabwe, but new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said that restoring ties with global financial bodies is a priority for turning around the economy.

Over the past decade, Zimbabwe’s economy has collapsed with the world’s highest inflation rate, chronic shortages of foreign currency and food, skyrocketing unemployment and widespread hunger.


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