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US Demands Strict Conditions on Zimbabwe Coronavirus Aid

Zimbabwe does not qualify for a bailout or loan package from international lenders due to it being in arrears with global financial institutions. These include the World Bank, and the African Development Bank.

The southern African country is, however, in need of billions of dollars in aid. According to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe requires $2.2 billion in support. In early May the country was granted $7 million by the World Bank.

The United States, meanwhile, is anxious that the funds could be exploited for political benefit.

The BBC reports that the Chairperson of the United States Committee on Foreign Relations James Risch, has expressed misgivings about the grant. Risch said there is a risk the funds could be abused by what he called the “ruling elite”, in a letter addressed to World Bank president David Malpass. He advised the World Bank to be very strict concerning transparency and accountability regarding the grant. Risch said that the World Bank “must not lose sight of the historical behaviour of ‘countries like Zimbabwe’ where the government has used and continues to use state resources and international aid to suppress its population and enrich the country’s ruling elite”.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told Parliament that Covid-19-related cash donations amounted to US $184 million. The BBC reports that the United Kingdom had donated $45.7 million, with the European Union having contributed $60 million, and the Global Fund $25million

According to Worldometer Zimbabwe has 287 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 4 deaths, and 46 recoveries.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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