IMF plans $833 mln in emergency aid to Iraq

IMF plans $833 mln in emergency aid to Iraq

WASHINGTON-Agence France-Presse
IMF plans $833 mln in emergency aid to Iraq

AFP Photo

The International Monetary Fund said on June 5 it was preparing $833 million in emergency financial assistance to Iraq as the country battles the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) insurgency.

The IMF said a mission had agreed on the aid with the Iraqi government under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument program, subject to IMF management approval, which is likely to come in July.

“The Fund is ready to assist Iraq in its efforts to tackle the economic impact of the conflict with ISIL and the decline in global oil prices,” it said.

“The armed conflict continues to strain the country’s resources and has created a humanitarian tragedy, with an estimated three million internally displaced people. The violence has also caused extensive damage to infrastructure and private sector assets.”   

The IMF said the Iraq economy contracted 2.1 percent last year “mainly because of the violence,” and might only grow 0.5 percent this year.

Meanwhile, the crash in oil prices has hit hard the country’s foreign earnings and helped widen the government’s budget shortfall.