Ukraine`s key lender, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), could extend three more disbursements to the country under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) this year to the tune of US$4.4 billion if the Ukrainian government delivers reforms on time, according to an IMF spokesman.
”We could have three more reviews completed this year if, let me underline if, everything goes according to plan, and this depends on the authorities` ability to deliver on time the reform commitments under the program that`s almost – it goes without saying, but it`s a very important caveat,” head of the IMF External Relations Department Gerry Rice told a briefing in Washington, D.C., on April 6.
He recalled that on Monday, April 3, the IMF Executive Board completed the third EFF review and approved the fourth disbursement worth $1 billion.
According to him, holding three more reviews could lead to further disbursements of about $4.4 billion this year.
Earlier, the IMF Executive Board on April 3 completed the third review of the EFF and approved the fourth $1 billion tranche.
On April 5, the National Bank of Ukraine announced the receipt of the new IMF tranche, which together with the second disbursement of the European Union macro-financial assistance received the day before would allow increasing international reserves to $16.7 billion, the highest level since the middle of 2014.
The receipt of the fourth tranche of the IMF loan is an unprecedented event for Ukraine since the country has earlier suspended the implementation of loan programs at earlier stages, while the IMF halted its financing after the first, second, and once third disbursement.
The IMF urged the Ukrainian authorities to accelerate structural reforms to achieve faster and more sustainable growth, starting with the privatization and development of the agricultural land market. However, the IMF stressed that corruption needs to be tackled decisively.
Moreover, Ukraine cannot any longer delay comprehensive pension reform, including by raising the effective retirement age, the IMF said.