Iraq Seeks IMF Help

Iraq, which is facing a 2015 budget shortfall of $21.4bn, has requested around $800mn of financial assistance from the IMF, the Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department Masood Ahmed said this week.

This assistance will probably be in the form of a “Rapid Financing Instrument” a facility which provides quick financial assistance and economic advice to member countries with urgent balance of payments needs, he says. This type of facility is repayable within three and a quarter to five years.

While the IMF facility is small compared to Iraq’s substantial outstanding financial obligations to international oil companies (IOCs) and to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Mr Ahmed sees that it could help to pave the way in the long run for a more extensive IMF lending program to Iraq. (CONTINUED - 397 WORDS)