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IMF Approves Multibillion-Dollar Aid Program For Iraq

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board has approved a $5.34 billion program for Iraq to help strengthen the country's finances.

The IMF said in a statement on July 7 that the three-year loan will see $634 million immediately allocated to Baghdad.

It said the money will help stabilize Iraq's balance of payments, ensure Baghdad can keep up with its debt obligations, and support measures to protect the poor and fight corruption.

In July 2015, the Washington-based organization disbursed about $1.24 billion for Iraq under a similar program.

Iraq's economy has been hit hard by the sharp drop in global oil prices and the fight against the Islamic State group.

The IMF said it had contracted by 2.4 percent in 2015 despite a 13 percent increase in oil production.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters