IMF and Ukraine reach $15.6 billion loan agreement

IMF and Ukraine reach $15.6 billion loan agreement

IMF and Ukraine reach $15.6 billion loan agreement

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on March 21 it has reached agreement with Ukrainian authorities on a loan package worth around $15.6 billion, to support the conflict-hit country’s economic recovery.

The European country has been locked in a deadly war with Russian troops since they invaded the country in February last year.

“In addition to the horrific humanitarian toll, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the economy,” IMF Ukraine mission chief Gavin Gray said, according to the statement.

The four-year plan, which is subject to approval from the IMF board, would support Ukraine’s “ongoing gradual economic recovery, while promoting long-term growth in the context of post-war reconstruction,” and the country’s path to European Union accession, the statement said.

Ukraine’s economic activity contracted by 30 percent last year, while poverty rose and much of the capital stock was destroyed, Gray said.

The IMF predicts Ukraine economy will slowly recover over the coming quarters, “as activity recovers from the severe damage to critical infrastructure,” wrought by the war, he added.

But “acute macroeconomic challenges persist due to the scale of the shock and the expansion of the fiscal deficit,” he said.

The board is expected to consider the bailout in the coming weeks, according to the IMF.