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IMF Plans $833 Million In Emergency Aid For Iraq

The International Monetary Fund said June 5 it was preparing $833 million in emergency assistance to help Iraq cope with low oil prices and its battle against the Islamic State.

IMF staff in the last week agreed to provide top Iraqi finance officials with the aid under a rapid funding program. Approval by the IMF's board is expected in July.

"The Fund is ready to assist Iraq in its efforts to tackle the economic impact of the conflict with ISIS and the decline in global oil prices," the IMF said.

"The armed conflict continues to strain the country's resources and has created a humanitarian tragedy, with an estimated three million internally displaced people. The violence has also caused extensive damage to infrastructure and private sector assets."

The IMF said the Iraq economy contracted 2.1 percent last year "mainly because of the violence," and might only grow 0.5 percent this year.

Meanwhile, the crash in oil prices ha zapped the country's export earnings and helped widen the government's budget deficit.

With reporting by AFP and TASS
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