The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it has agreed with Ukraine on a four-year financing package worth about $15.6 billion as it struggles to rebuild its economy and infrastructure.

The so-called staff-level agreement, which still needs to be approved by the IMF's board in the coming weeks, was reached following a series of discussions between the multilateral lender and Ukrainian authorities earlier this month in Warsaw.

"In addition to the horrific humanitarian toll, Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the economy: activity contracted by 30 percent in 2022, a large share of the capital stock has been destroyed and poverty levels have climbed," Gavin Gray, who led the IMF team, said in a statement.

A man looks at photos of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the war with Russia posted on the wall of St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2023, the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The IMF said the two-phase program will focus on strengthening "fiscal, external, price and financial stability" in the first 12 to 18 months.

It said that solid financing assurances for the package are expected from donors, including the Group of Seven major industrialized economies and the European Union.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen welcomed the agreement, saying, "An ambitious and appropriately conditioned IMF program is critical to underpin Ukraine's reform efforts, including to strengthen good governance and address risks of corruption, and provide much needed financial support."

While a number of uncertain factors remain as the war enters its second year, a gradual economic recovery in Ukraine is expected over the coming quarters, with IMF staff forecasting its real gross domestic product for 2023 will range from minus 3 percent to plus 1 percent from the year before, according to Gray.

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