(IraqiNews.com) BAGHDAD – International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a three-year $5.34 billion loan for Iraq. The loan is focussed on implementing economic and financial policies to help Iraq cope with lower oil prices and ensure debt sustainability.
In a statement issued by the IMF it was mentioned that the loan would be provided under the ‘Stand-By Agreement’ facility and it includes measures to protect vulnerable populations.
In an interview with IMF news, the transcription of which was also obtained by Iraqi News, IMF mission chief for Iraq Christian Josz said, “The program is designed with a focus to- reduce budget spending and stabilize debt; protect spending on the social front to ease the lives of the poorest, IDPs and refugees; improve the quality of public spending and begin the process of restructuring state-owned banks.”
“Iraq has maintained a peg to the US dollar for years and it has served the Iraqi economy well. The peg helps provide stability amidst a highly uncertain environment, especially with policy capacity weakened by the fight against ISIS,”Josz said, adding, “Iraq is predominantly an oil exporter and devaluing the Dinar would have minimal bearing on the economy’s overall trade competitiveness.”
“The authorities can also spur private sector-led growth by restructuring state-owned enterprises and prioritizing investment projects, which will help improve infrastructure development,” Josz further said, before concluding, “The authorities are committed to maintaining the Iraqi Dinar’s peg to the US dollar under these circumstances, and we support this view. There is no reason to devalue the Iraqi dinar.”