The International Monetary Fund has approved providing Portugal $36.8 billion as part of a rescue package to help the country tackle its economic and debt problems.

The package totals $111 billion and was approved by European finance ministers earlier this week. The IMF provides one-third of the amount and the EU two-thirds.

The IMF said the package is designed to allow Portugal some breathing space from borrowing in financial markets while it implements policy steps needed to get its economy back on track.

The acting director of the IMF, John Lipsky, said Friday that Portuguese authorities have put forward a program that is economically well-balanced and has growth and job creation at its center.

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