The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it is planning an in-person mission to Colombo in the coming weeks. The team will engage in policy discussions on the IMF-supported programme, said spokesperson Gerry Rice, adding that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has spoken to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “We are engaging as much as we can to see how we can help, but again too early for us to discuss the magnitude of a potential financing or a specific date for either the staff level agreement or when this might go to the board,” he said. While Wickremesinghe says he is hopeful that a staff-level agreement would be reached by the month-end, Rice told reporters the timing of a staff-level agreement will depend on the strength of the policies that the authorities would propose and would commit to. Sri Lanka’s debt was assessed as unsustainable, so board approval for any programme would require adequate assurances that authorities would take measures to restore debt sustainability before a financial arrangement can be considered, said Rice. Wickremesinghe has said Sri Lanka will need $5 billion to ensure that people’s daily lives are not disrupted for the next six months.
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