The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday welcomed the expedited approval by the U.S. Congress of the U.S. commitment to strengthen the IMF’s resources earlier in the day.
The U.S. decision to speed up approval of its substantial new contributions to the IMF is a powerful message to the international community and helps solidify the IMF’s 1-trillion-U.S.-dollar lending capacity, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement. “It comes at a crucial time as the whole world fights COVID-19 and demand for IMF resources is high.”
As part of a package of measures on IMF financial resources and governance, the IMF Executive Board on Jan. 16 approved the doubling of the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) credit lines. This measure requires legislative or other domestic approvals in some participating countries.
“Now that the U.S. has taken this important step, I am confident that other NAB contributors who have not yet done it will also expedite their commitments, so the IMF can continue to play its essential role as a lender of last resort at this time of crisis,” Georgieva said.
In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, the IMF Executive Board has also adopted some immediate enhancements to its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to enable the IMF to provide debt service relief for its poorest and most vulnerable members.
The CCRT enables the IMF to deliver grants for debt relief benefitting eligible low-income countries in the wake of catastrophic natural disasters and major, fast-spreading public health emergencies.
“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,” Georgieva said. Enditem