IMF Executive Board Approves Immediate Debt Service Relief For 25 Countries, And This Is By No Means, Cancelation

The Oasis Reporters

April 14, 2020

IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala had tweeted that the “IMF Board approves debt service relief for 25 Low Income Countries, 19 of them African. This is a good beginning. Thank you”.
And @Kgeorgieva, Managing Director of the IMF responded by tweeting that, “But we are pushing for more. African countries must have fiscal space to tackle #Covid19!”

Here’s the story.

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the following statement:

“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”.

Finance watchers are quick to reiterate that debt service relief is not equivalent to debt cancelation. Just to clear any unintended ambiguity, they note.
Debtor countries, especially those who continually go on a borrowing binge.

“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”.

The countries that will receive debt service relief today 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.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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