ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Sunday evening that it was in talks with Iraq over the request for emergency financial assistance from the economically troubled Middle Eastern country.
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi previously confirmed in a statement to Bloomberg News that Baghdad was in talks with the IMF for a $ 6 billion loan.
“The Iraqi authorities have requested emergency assistance under the Quick Finance Instrument, as part of a long-term arrangement, to support planned economic reforms,” said a representative of the IMF, a financial institution. international, in a statement, according to Reuters. .
“Discussions are underway regarding the authorities’ request for emergency assistance,” the official added.
The IMF’s rapid financing instrument provides rapid financial assistance and is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments.
Financial assistance is provided on the basis of inquiry request without the need for a full program or review, according to the International Monetary Fund website.
On Sunday, Allawi said Iraq could seek an additional $ 4 billion in low-cost loans through another program linked to government reforms.
Iraq devalued its currency (Dinar) last month after a collapse in global oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to decades of financial mismanagement and corruption, exacerbated the country’s economic woes.
Allawi told Bloomberg that Iraq has planned other types of projects to help close the budget deficit as well. Once the spending plan is approved, the government will issue $ 5 billion in national bonds to broaden its financial base.
On Monday, the statistics office for the Iraqi province of Nineveh reported that the province’s population living below the poverty line fell from 23 percent in 2019 to 38 percent in 2020.
Nineveh is inhabited by more than 3.5 million people, the second largest province in Iraq after Baghdad in terms of population, with a stagnant political process preventing its recovery after the invasion of Islamic State in 2014 and the release three years later.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said nearly 5 million Iraqis live below the poverty line due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Editing by Khrush Najari