Speaking at a UN aid summit in Qatar, Mr Mugabe said economic sanctions should be lifted so the government can turn around the African state’s economic woes.

"Zimbabwe has been and continues to be a victim of unilateral and illegal coercive measures, aimed at undermining the government through regime change which is illegal," he said.

Mr Mugabe, who has ruled for 25 years, said it was impossible for Zimbabwe to hit global goals for reducing poverty because of the impact of the sanctions.

Inflation in Zimbabwe is officially over 230 million per cent and the country is facing food shortages.

Mr Mugabe, who is talks on a power-sharing government with political rivals, said Zimbabwe could help itself if not for sanctions.

"Even though the country is well-endowed with natural resources, Zimbabweans have suffered and are suffering because of these sanctions which have negatively affected every facet of their lives," he said.

Critics have accused Mr Mugabe of destroying one of Africa’s most promising economies with controversial policies, including seizures of white-owned farms for redistribution.

Mr Mugabe has clung to power for years despite a worsening political and economic crisis. He and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to a power-sharing deal this year but they have failed to break a deadlock over the makeup of the new government.