The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday approved a $1.4 billion disbursement under the rapid financing instrument (RFI) to help address urgent fund requirements and offset the economic cost of its war with Russia.
The IMF expressed its strong support for the Ukrainian people, saying that the economic implications of the conflict are already severe, with over 2 million people fleeing in just 13 days and the large-scale devastation of important infrastructure in Ukraine.
“The disbursement under RFI, equivalent to 50% of Ukraine’s quota in the IMF, will help meet the urgent balance of payment needs arising from the impacts of the ongoing war and will provide critical support in the short term while playing a catalytic role for financing from other partners,“ the statement said.
The global lender stated that Ukrainian authorities had cancelled an existing stand-by funding arrangement with the IMF, but that they would work with the fund to develop a suitable economic program focused on rehabilitation and development when conditions permit.
“The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement after the meeting, predicting a deep recession in Ukraine this year.
“Financing needs are large, urgent, and could rise significantly as the war continues,” she said. Once the war was over, Ukraine was likely to need additional “large support.” Russia describes the assault as a “special military operation.”
The RFI offers IMF member countries immediate assistance without the requirement for a full-fledged program. According to the IMF website, members can use the RFI many times during any three-year term if the balance of payments needs is triggered by an external shock.
It is in addition to the USD 700 million disbursed by the IMF to Ukraine in December and the USD 2.7 billion in IMF Special Drawing Rights, or emergency reserves, obtained by Ukraine as part of an IMF allocation in August.
The World Bank’s executive board approved a USD 723 million loans and grant package for Ukraine on Monday.