Ukraine requests 'emergency financing' from IMF

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva pledged to continue "to support Ukraine in every way we can." PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Ukraine has requested additional aid from the IMF following the Russian invasion, the fund's leader Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday (Feb 25).

The crisis lender has an existing US$2.2 billion (S$2.98 billion) aid programme with Kyiv and "the authorities have also requested IMF emergency financing", Ms Georgieva said in a statement.

The fund's board met to discuss the situation in the country and the IMF chief pledged to continue "to support Ukraine in every way we can."

The existing loan programme was due to end in June, but Ms Georgieva said the institution "has a number of instruments in its toolkit" to provide aid.

Ms Georgieva repeated her warning about the crisis in Ukraine, calling it "a matter of grave concern" due to the human toll and the broader effect on the global recovery.

"The conflict is also having a serious economic impact, which will worsen the longer it continues," she said.

"This crisis comes at a delicate time, when the global economy is recovering from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, and threatens to undo some of that progress."

The IMF and others have warned about the impact rising oil and food prices could have on countries already facing accelerating inflation.

Ms Georgieva said the fund is coordinating with the World Bank to aid Ukraine and World Bank President David Malpass on Thursday said the bank was prepared to provide "immediate support" to the country.

He said the bank was "horrified by the shocking violence and loss of life" in Ukraine and would "stand with its people at this critical moment."

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