March 26, 2015 / 2:45 PM / 2 years ago

IMF says postpones Yemen loan program for now

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WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was postponing its next review of its $553 million loan program to Yemen given the uncertain situation in the country.

"Obviously we're watching the rapidly evolving situation carefully and closely at the moment," IMF spokesman William Murray told reporters. "Given a host of uncertainties surrounding Yemen at the moment, the first review of the Fund-supported program is postponed until the situation clarifies."

The IMF agreed in July to provide Yemen the loan over the next three years after the government pledged economic reforms. But the government's plans have been derailed by an increasingly unstable political situation.

Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck Shi'ite Muslim rebels fighting to oust Yemen's president on Thursday, in a major gamble by the world's top oil exporter to check Iranian influence in its backyard. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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