The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board has approved immediate debt service relief to 25 poor countries in the world. These countries are most vulnerable to debt and come under the IMF’s revised Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. The IMF’s relief package is a response to help poor countries on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A majority of those countries that will receive immediate debt service relief are from Africa, media reports said.These African countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Currently, the CCRT has the capacity to provide $500 million in grant-based debt service relief. China and the Netherlands have also become donors making significant contributions. Japan has provided $100 million as immediately available resources and the UK has pledged $185 million to the relief, media reports said.
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, in a statement said,” 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.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.”