More funds for Latin America
On March 21, the IMF approved a 13-month, $205 million loan for Ecuador to support its reforms through March 2004. That action makes $41 million available immediately. The IMF also approved the authorities’ request to extend by one year the repayment schedule arising from an April 2000 loan.
On March 19, Argentina received an additional $307 million under the seven-month, $2.98 billion loan approved on January 24.
The IMF announced on March 18 the release of a $303 million credit installment for Uruguay. It also extended financial assistance by one year, until the end of March 2005, and agreed to shift about $178 million in repayments scheduled for this year to 2004. Uruguay’s loan agreement was initially approved in March 2002 in the amount of $823 million and was increased by $1.6 billion in June and by another $521 million in August 2002.
With regard to other Latin American economies, the IMF completed on March 14 the second review of Brazil’s performance under the $31.4 billion loan approved last September. Completion of the review, the first since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office in January, provides Brazil with $4.1 billion in additional funds. After completing its annual assessment of Brazil’s economy, the IMF praised the new government’s decisive actions to deal with economic uncertainties and vulnerabilities but urged Brazil to set ambitious fiscal targets over the medium term to better shield its economy from external shocks.
For further information on these developments, please see Press Release No. 03/39 on Ecuador, Press Release No. 03/38 on Argentina, Press Release No. 03/37 on Uruguay, and PIN No. 03/38 and Press Release No. 03/36 on Brazil. All are available on the IMF’s website (http://www.imf.org).