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IMF aid raises questions about Mongolia's ability to reform

Critics worry that money would be misspent

Mongolian Minister of Finance Choijilsuren Battogtokh, left, and Neil Saker, IMF country representative, greet each other at a news conference on May 25 in Ulaanbaatar. (Photo by Odbayar Urkhensuren)

ULAANBAATAR/LONDON -- The International Monetary Fund has finally approved a much-needed $5.5 billion aid package for Mongolia, but experts question if the government is able to implement painful structural reforms to put the economy back on track.

The IMF board on Wednesday approved a three-year loan of $434.3 million to Mongolia. The Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Japan and South Korea also committed support while the People's Bank of China agreed to extend a swap line with the Bank of Mongolia. About $38.6 million will be immediately disbursed.

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