London – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board has approved immediate debt relief for 25 countries including Afghanistan and Nepal.
In a statemetn issued on Monday, Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, said, “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,” she added.
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 significant 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,” said Ms Georgieva.
The countries that will receive debt service include 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.