IMF gets new business as central banks lose reserves on intervention mistakes

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2008 (AFP) – Ukraine, facing political deadlock and an economic crisis, agreed a 16.5-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund on Sunday. The deal, announced by IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, followed a 2.1-billion-dollar loan to Iceland on Friday and comes amid appeals for help from other countries.

“An IMF staff mission and the Ukraine authorities have today reached agreement … on an economic program supported by an SDR 11 billion (16.5 billion dollars) loan,” Strauss-Kahn said in a statement.

The IMF, which some analysts had warned risked becoming obsolete before the financial crisis blew up, has announced it will make available more than 200 billion dollars in loans to countries facing financial difficulties.

Belarus and Pakistan have also appealed for assistance.

The deal with Ukraine must now be approved by the board of the Washington-based institution.

“The IMF is moving expeditiously to help Ukraine, and this program is focused on the essential upfront measures needed to maintain confidence and economic and financial stability,” the IMF chief said in his statement.

Ukraine stopped early withdr