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Sri Lankan delegation to begin talks with IMF for $4 billion loan in Washington today

Sri Lanka's new Finance Minister Ali Sabry (Photo: Facebook/mohalisabry)

Sri Lanka's newly-appointed Finance Minister Ali Sabry is leading a delegation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, USA, for a $4 billion loan to bail out the country from its worst-ever economic crisis.

The Ministry of Finance said that the first round of talks with the IMF will go on until the 24th of April, reports Sri Lankan media website News First. It added that the delegation has already held online technical-level discussions with IMF officials over the last six days.

The delegation includes Nandalal Weerasinghe–the new Governor of the Central Bank and KMM Siriwardana–Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.

The country is seeking a $4 billion loan from the IMF in various tranches spread over the course of the year. Sri Lanka is facing a serious economic and humanitarian crisis after its foreign exchange reserves began depleting fast last year.

People have been protesting on the streets due to rising prices of food, shortage of fuel, non-availability of medicines and long power cuts. They have been demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who they blame for bringing on the crisis.

The country's economic and financial problems spiralled last week when the country announced that it was unable to pay back the external debt amounting to $51 billion. The borrowings are from the IMF, World Bank, Japan, China and India.

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