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Fishmongers set to meet next month over Zim

AN international group known as the Friends of Zimbabwe, or Fishmongers Group, is scheduled to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month to discuss, among other things, the state of the inclusive government, debt relief, public finance administration and sanctions.

The Fishmongers Group, which includes the United States (US), Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Sweden, Holland, Norway, Canada and Australia, will meet on December 10.
The meeting is one in a series of meetings that have been going on since 2007 between Europe and the US.
Diplomatic sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the meeting would also be attended by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and the United Nations.
“This broad participation has contributed to good coordination and strong cohesion when it comes to our approach versus Zimbabwe,” a diplomatic source said.
The source said they were most likely not going to soften their stance on sanctions until the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
“(President Robert) Mugabe likes to keep the sanctions as long as possible,” he said.
The Fishmongers Group in its last meeting in June in Oslo agreed to offer more economic and humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe channelled through and managed by non-governmental organisations such as United Nations Development Programme and African Development Bank.
However, the group said no assistance would be channelled through the transitional administration in Zimbabwe until the partners to the GPA fully implement the deal, rule of law is restored and bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements are respected.
The sources said the Fishmongers Group has so far played a big role in stabilising the economy and improving essential services like health, safe water provision and education.
According to the sources, the group contributed significantly towards the $200 million vote of credit to government coffers.
Last year, the donors provided US$651 million in official development assistance which was directed towards improving services in health, provision of safe water, education, social protection and a
range of essential services that had virtually collapsed due to the decade-long economic and political crisis.

Wongai Zhangazha

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