Western sanctions cost Zimbabwe billions in potential funding

Western sanctions have caused immense economic harm to Zimbabwe, with the country losing billions in potential economic funding over the past two decades, Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo as saying on Monday.

He told a parliamentary portfolio committee on foreign affairs that apart from losing an estimated US$42 billion in revenue, Zimbabwe had lost bilateral donor support estimated at about US$4.5 billion annually since 2001 due to sanctions.

Zimbabwe had also lost US$12 billion in IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank loans which could have helped in developing infrastructure, as well as losing commercial loans amounting to US$18 billion which could be extended to the private sector and other companies, Moyo said.

“As a result of this, Zimbabwe experienced a US$21 billion reduction in GDP over the past two decades,” he said.

Moyo said despite the West maintaining sanctions on Zimbabwe, the country will continue to engage it so as to normalise relations.

“The government continues to engage with the West and so far the response is encouraging,” he said. Moyo added that it is time that the United States lifted its sanctions law on Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, saying it had run out of its relevance and necessity.

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