UWC welcomes approval by IMF of new Stand-By program for Ukraine
Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) welcomes the decision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 18 December 2018 to approve a 14-month loan program under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine in the amount of $3.9 billion.
“Despite the hybrid war being waged against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, Ukraine has undertaken successful macroeconomic and structural reforms, including anti-corruption measures,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “The IMF decision raises confidence in Ukraine’s economy in the international markets and will attract more foreign direct investment to the country.”
In its announcement, the IMF recognized the commitment of Ukrainian authorities to reducing public debt while focusing on fiscal consolidation and inflation reduction, and implementing targeted reforms to strengthen tax administration, governance, and the financial and energy sectors, while continuing to provide social assistance for the most vulnerable. The SBA is a significant stimulus for Ukraine enabling further progress on anti-corruption reforms and privatization, helping to attract investment, improving the business climate more broadly, creating greater opportunities and improve living standards for the people of Ukraine.
The UWC has been a staunch advocate urging the IMF to refrain from imposing conditions on Ukraine that would jeopardize further reforms and threaten the fragile socio-economic situation. The leadership and commitment of Ukraine’s Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova and IMF Chair Christine Lagarde were critical to this positive decision at this important juncture in Ukraine’s continued economic and political development.
The first tranche of $1.4 billion within this program is expected to be released at the beginning of 2019. The allocation of the two subsequent tranches will be conditional upon the results of semi-annual reviews by the IMF next year.
On 18 December, the World Bank also extended a Policy-Based Guarantee valued at $750 million to support Ukrainian reforms in banking, anti-corruption, agricultural land, pensions, utility subsidies, and healthcare sectors. This guarantee will additionally help Ukraine attract about $1 billion in international financing to support the state budget, as well as boost the country’s economy ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019.