News / Economy

IMF, International Community Step Up Aid for Ukraine

IMF, International Community Step Up Aid for Ukrainei
X
Mil Arcega
March 28, 2014 12:05 AM
Around the world, support for Ukraine’s battered economy is gaining ground. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to a two-year bailout worth up to $18 billion, with additional loan guarantees from member countries worth another $9 billion. And, in the U.S., both houses of Congress displayed a rare moment of unity - reprimanding Russia for its aggressive takeover of Crimea and approving additional financial aid for the former Soviet Republic. Mil Arcega has more.
Around the world, support for Ukraine’s battered economy is gaining ground.  On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to a two-year bailout worth up to $18 billion, with additional loan guarantees from member countries worth another $9 billion.  And, in the U.S., both houses of Congress displayed a rare moment of unity - reprimanding Russia for its aggressive takeover of Crimea and approving additional financial aid for the former Soviet Republic.  
 
With an economy forecast to shrink by 3 percent, and immediate debt payments equivalent to a third of its domestic output, Ukraine is a country in desperate need of a lifeline.  In a passionate address to parliament, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk did not mince words.

“The country is on the brink of economic and financial bankruptcy," said Yatsenyuk.

In a bid to stabilize Ukraine’s economy, IMF mission chief Nickolay Gueorguiev says the world lending body has agreed to provide up to $18 billion in emergency aid, not counting the additional loan guarantees.

“This financial support amounts to $27 billion over the next two years," said Gueorguiev.

But European Union Commissioner Olli Rehn says the bailout is conditional on Ukraine agreeing to tough austerity measures.  

“This financial assistance will help in stabilizing the worsening financial situation in Ukraine and therefore will be one vital part of achieving a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis," said Rehn.

While most in Kyiv welcomed the support from the international community, some worry about how the money will be spent.

“They are offering us false hope because this is a loan, and loans need to be paid back.  If this money gets stolen and taxpayers need to repay the loan - that would be unfair," said a Ukrainian woman.

U.S. lawmakers have also stepped up efforts to assist the former Soviet republic.  On Thursday, both houses of Congress approved legislation guaranteeing up to a billion dollars in loans.  Senate leader Harry Reid says that includes an additional $100 million in direct aid.   

"What we are doing here today is just the beginning.  I support this legislation.  I am proud of my Senate colleagues who join me in standing up for the people of Ukraine," said Reid.

Despite the rare bipartisan agreement, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says more needs to be done.

“Should the United States and our NATO partners at the request of the Ukrainian people supply them with defensive weapons to rebuild a military gutted by pro-Russian elements?  To me the answer is yes, because if you want to make Putin think twice about what he does next, he has got to pay a price greater than he has for Crimea," said Graham.

The U.S. is considering additional measures to further isolate Russia, but some worry new sanctions could hurt the U.S. and European economies.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8033
JPY
USD
117.19
GBP
USD
0.6372
CAD
USD
1.1634
INR
USD
63.622

Rates may not be current.