IMF to provide debt relief for 25 countries amid coronavirus outbreak

IMF board approves first batch of countries to receive grants


Reuters April 15, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday it would provide immediate debt relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to allow them to focus more financial resources on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the fund’s executive board approved on Monday the first batch of countries to receive grants to cover their debt service obligations to the fund for an initial six months.

She said the CCRT had about $500 million in resources on hand, including new pledges of $185 million from Britain, $100 million from Japan, and undisclosed amounts from China, the Netherlands and others. The fund is pushing to raise the amount available to $1.4 billion.

About $215 million of the total would be used for grants to the first 25 countries over the next six months, with extensions possible up to two years, an IMF spokeswoman said.  

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2020.

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