IMF approves immediate debt relief for 19 African countries amid coronavirus pandemic

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), announced on Monday that the Fund had approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). Nineteen of those countries are in Africa.

The 19 African countries that will receive debt service relief are Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Other countries are Afghanistan, Yemen, Tajikistan and Nepal in Asia as well as Haiti in North America and Solomon Islands in Oceania.

Oceania is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometers and a population of over 47 million. 

“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,” Ms. Georgieva said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.

“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.

“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the UK and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources. Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important 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,” she added.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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