News24

IMF support for Zimbabwe infrastructure

2012-01-25 21:58

Harare - Zimbabwe will tap into special reserves at the International Monetary Fund to upgrade its sanitation system, amid a typhoid outbreak in the capital Harare, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe will spend $40m to improve water and sanitation facilities as well as the electricity supply across the country, said Biti.

"As we are sitting here, there is a typhoid attack in Harare. It is important that we rebuild Harare's water and sanitation capacity," Biti told journalists.

More than 600 cases of the disease, which is linked to poor sanitation, have been recorded in Harare, health officials said this week.

Biti said a further $30m would be used to boost manufacturing, $20m for agriculture and $20m for the central bank to grant loans.

The country will leave about $100m in reserves with the IMF, he added.

"Our sovereign debt is $9.1bn. It is not wise to further contract any sovereign debt," he said, without naming the creditors.

In 2009, Zimbabwe was granted $500m in "special drawing rights" at the IMF, which maintains the so-called SDR as a reserve currency that it lends to needy countries for liquidity needs.

The support for Zimbabwe was a small part of the IMF's global support of about $250bn provided to all of its 186 members. Some of Zimbabwe's allocation was used to settle its arrears with the global lender.