News Brief: IMF to Consider Resumption of Financial Assistance for Ukraine
March 16, 1999
IMF to Consider Resumption of Financial Assistance for Ukraine
On September 4, 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year extended arrangement for Ukraine, equivalent to US$2.25 billion, to support the government’s 1998–2001 economic program. Of the total, US$0.3 billion has already been disbursed. Further disbursements were postponed because cash revenues fell short of expectations, fiscal prospects for 1999 remained unclear, and some structural reforms were behind schedule.
Since then, Ukraine has made progress in the fiscal and structural areas. The authorities have embarked upon a major fiscal adjustment effort, aimed at reducing the overall cash deficit from the equivalent of 2.7 percent of GDP in 1998 to 1.0 percent in 1999. Cash revenue performance and expenditure controls have improved and expenditures have been maintained within the government’s targets. Significant reforms have also been implemented in the areas of restructuring of government, privatization, deregulation, demonopolization, and improving cost recovery through adjusting the prices of communal services. Steps are also underway to strengthen reform in the agriculture and energy sectors.
In view of these steps, IMF management has decided to propose to the Executive Board to resume financial assistance for Ukraine. An Executive Board meeting will be scheduled before the end of March to consider this issue.