Ecuador has reached a new staff-level agreement with the IMF that could result in $1.5 billion in new disbursements this year following promises by President Guillermo Lasso's government to cut spending, the finance minister said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The South American nation last year struck a $6.5 billion deal with the multilateral lender to help revive an economy that for years struggled under low oil prices and was further weakened by a brutal coronavirus outbreak. Lasso, who was elected this year, inherited the IMF program from former President Lenin Moreno, who faced massive street protests in 2019 following efforts to close the fiscal gap by limiting fuel subsidies. Moreno walked back that measure in the face of a week of unrest led by indigenous protesters, highlighting the complex situation facing any Ecuadorean government that seeks to cut its fiscal deficit. Lasso this month said the government would halve the deficit to $2.4 billion in 2022. Read more.