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IMF meeting seen as vital

[Cote d'Ivoire] Children queuing up at a primary school in Korhogo in the rebel-held north of Cote d'Ivoire in August 2004.
Ecoliers d'une école du nord de la Côte d'Ivoire (IRIN)

The Zimbabwe business community is anxiously awaiting a June meeting between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to negotiate the release of a blocked standby credit facility and ease the pressure on a battered economy, business sources told IRIN on Tuesday. The IMF in March withheld US $53 million in support funds to the government. The IMF executive board met earlier this month to review the country's economic performance and according to reports said there were
still issues that needed to be addressed before renewed disbursements.

"Zimbabwe has met its targets on the budget deficit but we are very, very sceptical funds will be released for unknown reasons," Farai Zizhou, chief economist at the Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries told IRIN. "It is absolutely vital a lifeline is thrown to us otherwise the economy will sink to a level from where it will be very difficult to recover."

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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