IDB cannot rubber-stamp Argentina’s funds request – bank president

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(Reuters) – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) cannot “rubber-stamp” cash for Argentina without it meeting commitments to improve macroeconomic conditions, the IDB President said on Monday.

In a letter to the editor published by The Wall Street Journal, Mauricio Claver-Carone said the bank has a “duty to help members like Argentina,” but is also “eager for Argentina to meet commitments to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to improve macroeconomic conditions.”

Claver-Carone said Argentina is asking to approve a new $500 million unconditional loan, and that the bank has disbursed $2.5 billion to the country since late 2020 for healthcare, clean water and infrastructure projects.

“As much as the IDB wants to approve new funds for Argentina, it cannot rubber-stamp requests to do so without prudently ensuring it has a development impact,” he said.

Argentina, which faces a challenging macroeconomic scenario with spiraling inflation and a currency at record lows against the dollar, already has a $44 billion program sealed with the IMF.

“The commitments, much more modest than those required of other countries, are key to promoting sustainable growth and ensuring the IDB can offer Argentina fresh financing,” Claver-Carone added.

The IDB comments came ahead of an IMF meeting with Argentina’s newly appointed economy minister Silvina Batakis, who was sworn in less than a month ago after her predecessor abruptly resigned.

(Reporting by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Sam Holmes)