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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.