IMF approves debt relief for 25 countries

The International Monetary Fund on Monday announced immediate debt relief for 25 poor countries to help them release funds to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their debt obligations to the IMF during an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources into life-saving emergency medical assistance and other relief efforts, ”said the IMF Managing Director. Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

The IMF board has approved debt relief for countries, almost all of them in Africa, but also Afghanistan, Yemen, Nepal and Haiti.

The fund and the World Bank have called on rich countries to stop collecting debt payments from poor countries from May 1 to June 2021.

Debt relief will be funded by the IMF’s Containment and Disaster Relief Trust (CCRT), which was first established to tackle the Ebola epidemic in Africa. West in 2015 and was reassigned to help countries fight COVID-19.

The fund currently has $ 500 million, with Japan, Britain, China and the Netherlands among its major contributors.

“I urge other donors to help us replenish the resources of the trust fund and further strengthen our capacity to provide additional debt service relief for two years to our poorest member countries,” Georgieva said.

Last week, the World Bank announced it would deploy $ 160 billion in emergency aid over 15 months to help countries affected by the virus, including $ 14 billion in debt repayment of 76 poor countries to other governments.

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