COVID-19: IMF pledges to assist low-income member countries

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has disclosed its plans to support countries greatly affected by the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, especially low-income countries.

This was made known by the Fund’s Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva in a statement signed by the Financial Committee Chair, Lesetja Kganyago.

The IMF said the outbreak and the associated global economic turmoil had created a critical need to support its members, including an exceptional balance of payments support for the poorest members, especially those impacted by the pandemic.

According to the statement, the relief for debt repayments for its poorest members was made under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) in which advanced countries donated.

The United Kingdom was said to have donated a pledge for £150 million ($183 million) during the fund-raising exercise alongside Japan and China which donated important contributions as well.

“Reflecting the extraordinary challenges, the IMF has already taken action to provide relief for debt repayments for its poorest members under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust and is being called upon to strengthen its crisis response by enhancing access to its emergency facilities under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument. 

“Going beyond its traditional lending facilities, the IMF will explore additional options to help members that experience foreign exchange shortages.

 These issues will be discussed by the IMF’s Executive Board in the coming weeks with a view to bringing a strong package of measures for the IMFC’s consideration at the Spring Meetings. Our common goal is to make the IMF’s crisis response even more effective in helping its members achieve faster and stronger recovery,” the Fund stated.

Meanwhile, the IMF also announced that it would be mobilizing $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries fight the coronavirus pandemic as it appreciated the World Bank Group for its close cooperation in offering financial assistance.

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