UNPRECEDENTED: IMF disburses $10 billion to 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to respond to COVID-19

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has disbursed US$10 billion to 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, spokesman Gerry Rice said at a press briefing in Washington DC on Thursday.

That unprecedented amount is 10 times more than what the IMF has been disbursing to the Sub-Saharan African region annually, or an average of US$1 billion each year, Mr. Rice said, adding that “more is planned in the coming weeks.”

Additionally, 19 Sub-Saharan African countries have received debt relief under the IMF’s the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), for a total of $204 million.

He said as of 3 June, 2020, around 35-40 Sub-Saharan African countries have made a request for emergency assistance.

“To help the continent address its current economic challenges, the IMF is providing emergency financing on unprecedented scale.

“We are also exploring ways to deploy Special Drawing Rights to support low-income and small economies, including those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“And together with the World Bank, we support the G20 debt service suspension initiative that could provide temporary breathing space of some US$12 billion to eligible low-income countries.

“Other development partners such as the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank are also ramping up financing,” Rice 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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