NEW YORK CITY-- The World Bank says it will lend support to Zimbabwe as it seeks to implement a debt arrears clearance plan, dubbed the Lima plan, which was agreed with global lenders

in Peru in 2015.

Zimbabwe owes the World Bank alone more than on billion US dollars in debt arrears, which resulted in the suspension of balance of payment support from the global lender.

The near two decades long isolation from the international community restricted financial aid flows tp Zimbabwe and saw a build-up of arrears to multilateral and bilateral partners, including the World Bank, the

African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

So far, the country has only managed to clear debt arrears owed to the IMF in fulfillment of the debt clearance plan. The clearance of the arrears to the global lenders will facilitate access to much needed financing from international financial institutions.

World Bank Vice-President for Africa Hafez Ghanem told Zimbabwean media after a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa here this week that they had discussed the possibility of the Bank providing technical

support to Zimbabwe.

He said he was aware that Zimbabwe, through its Finance Ministry and central bank, was fervently working on implementing the Lima plan, which is crucial towards the attainment of President Mnangagwa's Vision 2030 development strategy.

We will be in contact with them (Zimbabwe's Minister of Finance and central bank governor) to work on that (Lima plan) and also to look at the future how the World Bank and Zimbabwe's co-operation can be strengthened and (how) we can move beyond the debt clearance, he said.

I came out of this meeting very optimistic about the future and the future of Zimbabwe's economy and hope also (for) the future of co-operation between the World Bank and Zimbabwe.

Ghanem said in the meeting, President Mnangagwa had stated how Zimbabwe planned to open its economy for business, plans for increasing investment, increasing economic growth and also for improving the social