IMF board concludes reviews for Ecuador, unlocking $1 billion

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Anti-government protests in Quito

(Reuters) -The International Monetary Fund executive board said Friday it had concluded its fourth and fifth reviews for Ecuador’s 27-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF), allowing for the immediate disbursement of about $1 billion.

The board said Ecuadorian authorities planned to use the funds for budget support.

The announcement comes after nearly two weeks of sometimes-violent mass protests led by indigenous groups demanding lower fuel and food prices.

Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said in a statement that Ecuador’s 4.2% GDP growth in 2021 had been supported by good macroeconomic management and a successful vaccination campaign, and that macroeconomic and financial stability had been preserved.

“While the ongoing war in Ukraine is adversely affecting some export sectors, higher oil prices are improving Ecuador’s external and fiscal balances,” she said.

The IMF approved a 27-month EFF arrangement for Ecuador worth about $6.5 billion on September 30, 2020.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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