The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a loan of SDR 12.348 billion (about USD 17.5 billion) for Ukraine under the new Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports, citing a press release by the fund.

According to the document, the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, made the relevant statement.

"I am pleased to announce that the IMF Executive Board today approved an Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of SDR 12.348 billion (about USD 17.5 billion, EUR 15.5 billion) for Ukraine, based on a comprehensive economic reform program supported by the Fund as well as by additional resources from the international community. Building on the actions taken under the earlier stand-by arrangement, this new four-year extended arrangement will support immediate economic stabilization in Ukraine and a set of deep and wide-ranging policy reforms aimed at restoring robust growth over the medium term and improving living standards for the Ukrainian people," Lagarde said in Berlin on Wednesday.

According to her, the change in the IMF-supported program from Stand-By Arrangement to Extended Arrangement under the EFF, which is consistent with the more protracted nature of Ukraine’s balance-of-payment needs, will provide more funding, more time, more flexibility, and better financing terms for Ukraine.

“Other bilateral and multilateral financing is also being made available to support the reforms. In addition, the Ukrainian government has taken actions toward consultations with the holders of their public sector debt with a view to improving medium-term sustainability,” Lagarde said.

As reported, the IMF approved a four-year loan program worth USD 17.5 billion for Ukraine on February 12. Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko previously said that half of the first tranche would be used to replenish the reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine and that the government would use half of it to fulfill its external obligations.