The International Monetary Fund welcomed the declaration of a ceasefire in Ethiopia following a two-year civil war and said it’s weighing the next steps on a potential funding program. The agreement represents “a critical step towards restoring lasting peace and stability,” the IMF said in an emailed response to questions. “Fund staff have ongoing discussions with the authorities on their reform plans, which could set the ground for negotiating a potential new fund program. We will be considering next steps and discussing these with the authorities.” Ethiopia must initiate a new funding program with the IMF to proceed with a planned restructuring of its $30 billion of debt. An end to the conflict in the Horn of Africa nation also gives the government an opportunity to repair the damage the conflict has done to its international image. The fighting cost Ethiopia its duty-free access to US markets, while the state spent billions of birr on its military, according to Oxford Economics. The country’s infrastructure was also badly damaged, while it lost out on foreign investment, it said.