Thursday, February 26, 2009

S. Africa’s Manuel Says Zimbabwe Seeks $2 Billion

By Antony Sguazzin
Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe is seeking aid of $2 billion over the next 10 months to revive its economy and tackle a humanitarian crisis, Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s finance minister, said.
The country is seeking loans to help rouse its economy from a decade-long recession and repair infrastructure, the minister said in an interview with the Johannesburg-based SAFM radio station today.
Zimbabwean officials presented two plans at a meeting with finance ministers from the Southern African Development Community in Cape Town, both of which need about $1 billion in funding, Manuel said. South Africa is in talks with Zimbabwe over one of the plans to improve the economy on a “bilateral” basis, he said.
Zimbabwe’s political leaders this month ended an impasse by forming a coalition government after disputed elections last year. A failed land reform program that began in 2000 has deepened the country’s recession, left more than half of the population in need of food aid and caused the world’s highest inflation rate. More than 83,000 people have been infected in a cholera outbreak.
Zimbabwe needs as much help as it can get to tackle “this horrible, horrible scourge of cholera,” Manuel said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at

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