HL Deb 15 February 1999 vol 597 cc56-7WA
Lord Acton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the International Monetary Fund is currently considering a major loan to the Government of Zimbabwe; and, if so, whether satisfactory guarantees about human rights will be a necessary precondition of any such loan. [HL839]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The IMF is due to release two suspended tranches of an existing loan as soon as the Government of Zimbabwe satisfy two prior actions. Firstly, the Government must make public a comprehensive and authoritative statement on land reform, and, secondly, they must show that military expenditures associated with the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be met within the defence provision of the 1999 budget.

No new IMF lending to Zimbabwe is planned for the immediate future. Any such loans would be subject to customary IMF consideration of the economic performance and governance of the country. The UK Government believe that high standards of governance are essential to the success of economic reform programmes and to ensure that economic benefits are shared by all. We welcome the increased emphasis that the fund now places on governance issues, and will continue to argue that measures to promote good governance should be a condition of IMF programmes.

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