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IMF Executive Board Approves Immediate Debt Relief For 25 Countries To Combat #COVID19

by on April 14, 2020
 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has approved immediate debt relief for twenty-five countries battling with the COVID19 pandemic.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mrs Kristalina Georgieva issued the following statement as regards the approval:

“Today, I am pleased to say that our Executive Board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.

“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources. Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions. I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries.”

According to the statement, the countries that will receive debt service relief are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Reacting to this development Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, who is the Head of African Union (AU) COVID19 Africa Response Team thanked Kristalina, adding “we are pushing for more.”

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Okonjo-Iweala, who reacted in a tweet via her Twitter handle, @NOIweala said:

IMF Board approves debt service relief for 25 Low Income Countries 19 of them African. This is a good beginning. Thank you @IMF, @Kgeorgieva. But we are pushing for more. African countries must have fiscal space to tackle #Covid19!

See tweet:

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