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WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund announced Wednesday that it had reached a staff-level agreement with Argentina on the first review of its massive loan package, paving the way for the country to access some $4.03 billion.

“The (staff-level) agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to discuss it in the coming weeks,” said Julie Kozack, deputy director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department. “Upon completion of the review, Argentina would have access to about US$ 4.03 billion.”

In March, the IMF approved a 30-month credit program with Argentina totaling $44 billion, with an immediate disbursement of $9.66 billion.

IMF urges countries to support vulnerable, avoid blanket subsidies

Kozack noted that “all quantitative targets in the first quarter of 2022 were met” by Argentina, and that the South American country had also made progress on “the structural agenda and growth-enhancing reforms in line with program commitments, including on the energy front.”

Despite shocks due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the IMF said it had agreed with the government of Argentine President Alberto Fernandez that the “annual objectives established at approval of the arrangement will remain unchanged.”

“(Argentine) authorities’ commitment to implementing additional policy measures to achieve these annual objectives is welcome,” added the IMF.

Under the deal struck in March – the 13th that Buenos Aires has signed with the IMF since the return of democracy in 1983 – repayments will be made from 2026 to 2034 after a grace period.

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