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War in Ukraine: IMF approves $1.4bn emergency funding

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved $1.4bn (£1.1bn) of emergency funding for Ukraine, as it fights against a Russian invasion.

It comes as the IMF predicts Ukraine will see a deep recession this year.

More than 2m people are estimated to have left the country since the war started two weeks ago.

Earlier this week, the World Bank approved a $732m financial package for Ukraine and is planning more economic assistance for the coming months.

"The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis," IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

Ms Georgieva said the money was aimed to meet the country's urgent spending needs and help ease the huge economic impact of the war.

"The tragic loss of life, huge refugee flows, and immense destruction of infrastructure and productive capacity is causing severe human suffering and will lead to a deep recession this year. Financing needs are large, urgent, and could rise significantly as the war continues," she added.

The funds will be disbursed under IMF's Rapid Financing Instrument. This means it will largely come without conditions that are usually placed on borrower countries.

The IMF financing comes on top of a $723m World Bank economic package, which was announced earlier this week.

That package was made up of grants and loans, including a $100m pledge from the UK.

The World Bank said it was continuing to work on a $3bn package of support for the coming months.

It also promised extra help for neighbouring countries that are taking in the estimated 2m refugees - who are mostly women, children and the elderly - fleeing Ukraine.

In recent days Ukraine's government has taken other steps to support its war-torn economy.

Last week, the country raised $270m through the sale of war bonds and said it planned to issue non-fungible tokens to help fund its armed forces.

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