In the need of the hour, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has come forward to provide immediate debt relief to 25 countries including Nepal to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The IMF Executive Board has approved the first batch of countries to receive grants to cover their IMF debt obligations for the first six months under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
“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,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
According to the IMF MD Kristalina, the CCRT has USD 500 million that includes a contribution from-
Around USD 215 million will be granted for the first 25 countries over the next six months with a possible extension period of 2 years.
However, the IMF is striving to raise a total of USD 1.4 billion and requested the other donor countries to contribute to the CCRT to provide additional financial relief to poor countries.
“The grants would help the IMF’s poorest members, including the Central African Republic, which has only three critical-care unit beds for a population of 5 million,” said Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network Executive Director.
The IMF and the World Bank urged the rich countries to stop collecting debt payments from poor countries from May 1, 2020 through June 2021.
Earlier, the World bank promised to contribute USD 160 billion in emergency aid to aid countries affected by coronavirus, including USD 14 billion in debt repayments from 76 poor countries to other nations.
So far, the coronavirus has affected 210 countries and territories around the world and infected 1,925,853 people while claiming 119,719 lives.