WORLD BANK LOAN TO BACK ZIMBABWEAN REFORM PLAN

WORLD BANK LOAN TO BACK ZIMBABWEAN REFORM PLAN

The World Bank will lend Zimbabwe US$175 million in an effort to support that government's troubled economic reform program.

The bank's representative in Harare said the loan would be made in two segments. The first segment, worth some US$105 million, will become available next week after a legal agreement has been signed.The second segment of US$70 million will be disbursed only by the middle of 1992 once World Bank officials have assessed progress on Zimbabwe's Structural Adjustment Program.

The World Bank loan consists of US$125 million from the bank itself, repayable over 20 years with a five-year grace period, plus US$50 million from the International Development Association.

The International Monetary Fund will meet Friday to discuss Zimbabwe's application for an additional loan worth about US$430 million, the spokesman said.

The loan - part of the IMF's Extended Fund Facility to Zimbabwe - will be paid out over three years. Friday's meeting is expected to approve the loan.

In addition, Zimbabwe also won a US$187 million loan from the African Development Bank.

Most of the cash will be used to support economic reform in Zimbabwe. World Bank officials in Harare said the bank is satisfied with the progress Zimbabwe has made so far in its adjustment program.

Since the program's official launch in March 1991, the country has run into severe economic difficulties.

Inflation has accelerated and currently is running at 25 percent a year, unemployment is growing and a second consecutive year of drought is forcing the country to import staple foods such as corn and sugar.