Washington, DC – The International Monetary Fund on Monday said it would provide immediate debt service relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement which Africa Tembelea has seen, the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the Fund’s executive board had approved the first batch of countries to receive grants to cover their debt service obligations to the Fund for an initial six months.
According to Kristalina, the CCRT currently 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.
“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, Georgieva said in a statement.
She urged other donor countries to help replenish the CCRT and boost the Fund’s ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to its poorest member countries.
The first countries that will receive debt service relief from the CCRT are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, 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, the IMF said.