Accessibility links

Breaking News

IMF agrees to $800 million disbursement to Argentina

FILE - A man checks rates at a money exchange house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 14, 2022.
FILE - A man checks rates at a money exchange house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 14, 2022.

The International Monetary Fund is set to release nearly $800 million dollars to Argentina.

The June payout still requires the final approval of the IMF’s executive board.

IMF officials said in a statement Monday that the Latin American country has made “faster-than-anticipated progress in restoring macroeconomic stability.”

“Notable results include the first quarterly fiscal surplus in 16 years,” according to the statement, “rapidly falling inflation, a turnaround in international reserves, and sovereign spreads near multi-year lows.”

The $792 million payment, part of a $43 billion loan, is essentially an endorsement of the austerity measures imposed on Argentina by its libertarian president, Javier Milei.

In his inaugural address, Milei had told Argentinians, “There is no alternative to a shock adjustment... There is no money.”

While the president’s moves have been great for the macroeconomy, the measures have been hard on the average citizen, especially the poor and the middle class.

Milei’s austerity moves have included the elimination of thousands of government jobs, the slashing of public sector wages, the cutting of subsidies and the placement of a freeze on public works projects.

Milei came into office in December. In January, the Catholic University of Argentina released a report indicating that 57.4% of the Latin American country’s population was living in poverty.

The study said the high poverty rate was in part because of the devaluation of the country’s peso, a move imposed by Milei shortly after taking office. The measure also resulted in a large price increase for basic goods.

Shortly after being sworn into office, Milei said, “For a few months, we’re going to be worse than before.”

In March, Argentina’s inflation rate reached 287%, among the highest rates in the world, another contributing factor to the high poverty rate. The inflation rate is now moving slowly downward.

Argentinians in recent months have traveled with large bags of cash to pay for basic goods, according to an Associated Press report, because vendors currently prefer cash payments. The issuance of new banknotes is expected to address that problem.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.