IMF gives draft approval to Argentina payout of almost $800 mn

IMF gives draft approval to Argentina payout of almost $800 mn

The IMF has reached a staff-level agreement with Argentina that is set to unlock almost $800 million
The IMF has reached a staff-level agreement with Argentina that is set to unlock almost $800 million. Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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IMF staff have reached an agreement with Argentina on a loan program review that should unlock almost $800 million in much-needed funds for the Latin American country, the Washington-based financial institution said Monday.

The announcement will likely be well-received by Argentina's libertarian president, Javier Milei, who was elected on a pledge to tackle a dire economic situation where annual inflation has hit an annual rate of 290 percent, growth is contracting, and poverty rates have surged.

Milei's economic reform program has been praised by many international institutions -- including the International Monetary Fund -- while Argentine labor unions have called a number of strikes since his election to voice their opposition to the austerity plans.

Argentina has made "faster-than-anticipated progress in restoring macroeconomic stability and bringing the program firmly back on track," IMF officials said in a statement Monday confirming the completion of the Fund's eighth review of a $44 billion loan agreement with Argentina.

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"Notable results include the first quarterly fiscal surplus in 16 years, rapidly falling inflation, a turnaround in international reserves, and sovereign spreads near multi-year lows," it added.

An IMF spokesperson confirmed to AFP that the staff-level agreement means Argentina is on track to receive a payout of roughly $792 million, subject to approval by the Fund's executive board.

Alongside economic progress, the Argentine authorities have also "made significant efforts to scale up social support for vulnerable young mothers and children and protect the purchasing power of pensions," the IMF staff said.

"Progress continues in broadening the political and societal support for these efforts and in tackling vested interests," it added.

Source: AFP

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