IMF board approves $20b Ukraine loan package

WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund has approved a US$15.6 billion (S$20.7 billion) support package for Ukraine to assist with the conflict-hit country’s economic recovery, the fund said in a statement on Friday.

The Russian invasion has devastated Ukraine’s economy, causing activity to contract by around 30 per cent last year, destroying much of its capital stock and fuelling poverty, according to the IMF.

The 48-month Extended Fund Facility programme approved by the fund’s board is worth roughly US$15.6 billion.

It forms the IMF’s portion of a US$115 billion overall support package comprised of debt relief, grants and loans by multilateral and bilateral institutions, the organisation confirmed in a press conference on Friday.

The new four-year programme aims to “anchor macroeconomic and financial stability as well as to undertake critical structural reforms as the war continues,” IMF deputy managing director Gita Gopinath said, in a statement.

Of the total amount approved by the IMF, US$2.7 billion is being made available to Ukraine immediately, with the rest of the funds due to be released over the next four years.

The more “ambitious structural reforms” to support sustained growth and post-war reconstruction, as well as facilitate Ukraine’s path to EU accession among other goals, will be left until active combat ends, she added.

The programme also includes additional guarantees from some IMF members in the event that active combat continues beyond the current estimate of mid-2024.

If the current conflict were to continue into 2025, it would raise Ukraine’s financial needs from US$115 billion to around US$140 billion, said the IMF. AFP

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