Moldova & IMF IMF Activities Publications Press Releases

CHISINAU, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is ready to approve a new $150 million loan programme in December aimed at reducing poverty in ex-Soviet Moldova, the head of an IMF mission to the country said on Monday.

Richard Haas said the Fund board would consider a new three-year programme to the country of four million after the government had submitted a memorandum on economic and financial policies.

"Preliminary, the board will meet on December the 18th," Haas told a news briefing. "Funds will be disbursed almost immediately under a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility." Moldovan Prime Minister Dumitry Braghish said the policy memorandum would be sent to the IMF in the next few days.

Adoption of the 2001 budget by December 1 is a key condition to unlock IMF lending frozen last year. Parliament approved a tight 2001 budget in two of three required readings last week, with the third reading planned for November.

Haas said the loan would be disbursed in quarterly tranches of $12 million each. "The important thing is that a lot of other donors follow our lead," he said. 

The World Bank said on Friday it could resume stalled lending by the end of the year, disbursing a $20 million tranche under a structural adjustment loan to the country, which is
wedged between Ukraine and Romania.

Haas praised recent government steps in reducing the budget deficit, curbing inflation and
boosting spending on social issues. "It looks as if things are turning around," he said.

Monday, 30 October 2000 13:07:43