COVID-19: IMF proposes $1bn aid package for poor countries

Mar 30, 2020
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has inaugurated a fund-raising initiative through its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) that would enable it provide additional debt service succour to its poorest member nations.
As a unit of the IMF’s operations, the CCRT is duty-bound to provide grants for debt relief in favour of poor and vulnerable countries during monumental natural disasters and critical, “fast-spreading public health emergencies” like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMF said the aid, if properly channelled, would afford the countries the opportunity to concentrate on medical spending and other urgent necessities in the challenging economic environment, where steep income depreciation, lost revenue and increasing expenditure are rife.
“The IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust can now provide rapid debt service relief on IMF debt obligations to more of our poorest and most vulnerable members. This will help them to channel more of their scarce financial resources to their vital emergency medical and other relief efforts,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the organisation’s chief.
She equally enjoined member countries of the fund, who economically stronger to contribute to the CCRT’s pool of funds, “which had $200 million available for the world’s poorest countries.”
While the UK has made a pledge of $183 million, countries like Japan and China are planning to make reasonable donations to the fund.
Ms Georgieva also said “furthermore, we are calling on donor countries to replenish the Trust’s resources to help boost our ability to provide additional debt service relief to our poorest member countries.”
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