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IMF Approves $3 Billion Loan for Sri Lanka as Economic Crises in Lebanon and Argentina Worsen

HeadlineMar 23, 2023

The International Monetary Fund approved a $3 billion loan for Sri Lanka this week amid its worst economic crisis since gaining independence. Inflation has soared to above 50% as people struggle to pay for food. It’s the 17th IMF bailout Sri Lanka has received and the third since the end of its civil war in 2009.

In Lebanon, protesters rallied in Beirut Wednesday to decry worsening economic conditions as Lebanon’s currency hit an all-time low. Security forces fired tear gas at the demonstrators. Many of the protesters were former security force members whose state pensions have been rapidly losing value amid a dire economic crisis. The Lebanese pound lost more than 98% of its value against the U.S. dollar since 2019.

And in Argentina, inflation has topped 100% for the first time since its financial crisis of the early 1990s. Argentina has struggled to turn around its economy amid government infighting and ministerial turnover. Last year, massive protests called out austerity measures resulting from IMF bailouts and the government’s mismanagement of its debt. Fed-up Argentines say they want change in their leadership.

Patricia Quiroga: “Let all the politicians go. I am tired, tired, just tired of all this, of the politicians who fight while the people die of hunger.”

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