MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
JANUARY 24, 20215:53 PMUPDATED 14 MINUTES AGO
By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – Iraq has requested emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund and talks are ongoing between the parties, the IMF said late on Sunday.
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi told Bloomberg News earlier that Iraq was in talks with the IMF for a $6 billion loan package.
“The Iraqi authorities have requested emergency assistance from the IMF under the Rapid Financing Instrument, and indicated their intention to also request a longer-term arrangement with the Fund in support of planned economic reforms,” an IMF representative said in an emailed statement.
“Discussions of the authorities’ request for emergency assistance are ongoing.”
Iraq may ask for an additional $4 billion in low-cost loans through another programme linked to government reforms, Allawi said on Sunday.
Iraq devalued the dinar last month after a collapse in global oil prices, a major source of Iraq’s financial resources.
Allawi told Bloomberg bloom.bg/3peGG2h that Iraq also planned other types of funding to help plug the budget gap. Once the spending plan was approved, the government would move to issue $5 billion in domestic bonds to expand its financial base.
The OPEC member’s economy has only a small manufacturing base and almost all goods are dollar-priced imports.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Peter Cooney