COVID-19: Time for payment of debts by 25 poor countries extended by 6 months - IMF

COVID-19: Time for payment of debts by 25 poor countries extended by 6 months - IMF

- Payment of debts owed by 25 countries to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been delayed for 6 months

- It is expected that the decision would allow the countries, 19 of which are in Africa, to use their scarce resources in combating the coronavirus

- The move comes after the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and others called for debt relief for some countries

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has delayed the payment of debts of 25 countries by six months.

It has approved $500 million to serve as debt relief for the listed countries, 19 of which are from Africa.

The African countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Togo.

READ ALSO: Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta urges China to support Africa with debt reliefs

The rest of the countries are Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan and Yemen.

Per a report by PBS.org, the IMF explained that the funds are coming from its revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

The Trust would make use of recent pledges of $185 million from the United Kingdom and $100 million from Japan.

YEN.com.gh understands that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, as well as a group of 165 former global leaders and prominent international figures, have called for a suspension of debt repayments for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.

This, they argued, would give such countries the opportunity to use their limited resources to eradicate the virus.

A report by cfr.org shows that the IMF has been both praised and condemned for its efforts at promoting financial stability.

That notwithstanding, it continues to play a key role in global economic crisis management.

While some say it has spearheaded transformative reforms, others suggest it needs to further implement changes that would cause a turnaround in the living conditions of the world’s poorest people and give assurances of its relevance in a changing global economy.

The IMF has been referred to as the world’s “financial crisis firefighter,” which helps member countries to deal with serious debts.

YEN.com.gh earlier reported that the IMF’s Executive Board has approved $1 billion for Ghana to fight the coronavirus.

The IMF, on Monday, April 13, 2020, approved the fund, which would be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has negatively impacted Ghana’s economy and has led to a slowdown of growth, the tightening of financial conditions and placed pressure on the exchange rate.

This, the IMF noted, has led to huge government and external financing needs.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Reports say African countries may take about 3 years to fully recover

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Source: Yen Newspaper

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