WASHINGTON, March 22 The International Monetary
Fund on Friday approved a $1.25 billion disbursement to Ireland
under an existing loan program to aid the European island
The latest release of funds brings total aid to about $26
billion, the international lender said, but officials have said
that they expect Ireland to get off emergency funding later this
Ireland has been one of the success stories in the euro-zone
debt crisis, with European and IMF leaders eager to congratulate
the country for the fiscal discipline that has helped it get
back on its feet.
"Ireland's strong policy implementation has continued and
positive signs are emerging. Real GDP growth was 0.9 percent in
2012, and employment rose slightly over the year," the IMF said
in a statement.
Ireland was one of the best-performing economies in the euro
zone last year. Last week, Ireland managed to attract investors
to fresh debt offerings, another sign that the nation could soon
stand on its own.