Saturday, December 24, 2005

IMF offers historic loan to Iraq

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on Friday to offer Iraq $685-million to help its post-war economic recovery, the first loan of its kind for the conflict-torn country.

The loan is designed to support the Iraqi government's economic programme over the next 15 months, which envisages a boost in economic growth, lower inflation and further steps toward a market economy, an IMF statement said.

In a positive economic report card, the IMF praised Iraqi authorities for promoting economic stability in 2005 despite the "difficult security environment" caused by the anti-United States insurgency.

"The medium-term outlook for Iraq is favourable, but subject to many risks," IMF deputy MD Takatoshi Kato said in the statement.

The loan comes under a so-called standby arrangement, which countries can draw on every quarter if they meet economic targets set down by the IMF. -- Sapa-DPA"
Mail & Guardian


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