In March, the Zimbabwean cabinet agreed to a new debt relief strategy that includes recourse to the IMF and World Bank’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. President Robert Mugabe has voiced consistent resistance to the conditions of HIPC debt relief, but finance minister Tendai Biti has said that the move was a consensual “cabinet decision”. Reports also surfaced in June that Zimbabwe is considering entering into a Staff Monitored Programme with the IMF (see Update 71), meaning heavy Fund monitoring and conditionality but no additional finance. This idea has been rejected by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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