IMF, Bangladesh Reach Preliminary Deal for $4.5B in Loans

DHAKA,Bangladesh (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund reached a preliminary agreement on Wednesday with Bangladesh to provide $4.5 billion to help the country weather disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine and manage risks from climate change.

The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF's executive board, which is expected within weeks. Bangladesh sought the loans as its foreign currency reserves were dwindling due to a weakening currency and soaring costs for imports.

The IMF said in a statement that the money was aimed at stabilizing the economy, protecting vulnerable people and promoting structural change to support strong, inclusive and sustainable growth.

"Bangladesh's robust economic recovery from the pandemic has been interrupted by Russia's war in Ukraine, leading to a sharp widening of the current account deficit, a rapid decline of foreign exchange reserves, rising inflation and slowing growth," said Rahul Anand, who led a visiting IMF staff mission.

The group arrived in Bangladesh late last month to iron out provisions for providing the loan to the South Asian nation of more than 160 million people.