Iraq is expected to receive a fresh contribution of IMF aid by the end of the year after making progress and laying the groundwork for the deal to go
ahead. IMF chief Rodrigo Rato stated that Iraq has continued to make progress in the areas that needed to be addressed by improving data and central
bank transparency and reducing oil subsidies. US Treasury Secretary John Snow has told reporters that he hopes IMF and Iraq will announce negotiations
on a new loan this week.
The IMF gave Iraq a $436 million emergency loan last year to help rebuild the economy after decades of dictatorship, a U.S.-led war and an
insurgency. That deal expires at the end of this year and Iraqi officials are pressing for a new loan.
Rato said Iraq had made progress in the three areas the fund thinks most critically need to be addressed, and he welcomed the decision to hire an
international audit firm to take examine the country's central bank.
"We hope that even if it's not finished, the audit, it will be certainly advanced by the end of the year," he said.
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow told reporters on Thursday as he sat down to meet with Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi and Central Bank Governor
Sinan al-Shabibi that he hoped the IMF and Iraq would announce this week they were entering into negotiations on a new loan.
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Yet more debt to the World Bank and IMF for this struggling country. I know the country does need assistance to rebuild but the idea of the country
being so heavily indebted to IMF is rather a scary future prospect. Hopefully the country can rebuild fast and have the loan repaid quickly.
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