Demonstrators protest in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 25 and demand the government reject a three-year bailout package provided by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF raised the loan amount on Wednesday to more than $57 billion. File Photo by David Fernande/EPA-EFE
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The International Monetary Fund has agreed to lend more bailout money to the Argentine government -- including nearly $20 billion in additional credit -- to help the country get a grip on its economic crisis.
Argentina's economy has struggled this year with rising interest rates and a currency that's lost about half of its value against the U.S. dollar.
"This is the biggest loan in the history of the IMF," Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
The international financial institution said in a statement Wednesday it raised its loan package to $57.1 billion through 2021 -- up from the $50 billion it granted in June.
Last month, Buenos Aires requested an advance on the bailout package. Wednesday, the IMF increased the credit line available to Argentina through next year by $19 billion.
The revised package is still subject to board approval, but Lagarde said the credit line was no longer precautionary, allowing the additional funding to be used as needed.
"I support Argentina's revised reform plan and believe it will be instrumental to restoring market confidence in the government's ambitious economic agenda and to protecting the most vulnerable," Lagarde said. "I will seek the approval of this strengthened proposal with the IMF's Executive Board."
The IMF said it believes the fiscal package will increase market confidence and give the government time to work out other financial difficulties that are agitating the crisis.
Luis Caputo, the governor of Argentina's Central Bank, resigned this week for personal reasons after taking the reigns in June.
Lagarde said the central bank would adopt "a floating exchange rate regime without intervention," under new central bank governor Guido Sandleris.