By Uditha Jayasinghe

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached a preliminary, staff-level agreement on an emergency loan to the crisis-hit country and a formal announcement is likely on Thursday, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The island nation, struggling with its worst economic crisis in more than seven decades, had sought up to $3 billion from the IMF.

Spokespersons for the IMF and the Sri Lankan government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)