IMF extends debt relief to 28 low-income nations, Nigeria missing
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has approved the third tranche of grants for debt service relief for 28 member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
This was disclosed in a statement by the IMF in Washington D.C. on Monday.
It said that the approval followed two prior tranches approved on April 13 and October 2, 2020.
The CCRT provides grants for debt service relief to countries hit by catastrophic events, including public health disasters such as COVID-19.
According to the financial institution, the approval enables the disbursement of grants from the CCRT to pay all eligible debt service falling due to the IMF from its poorest and most vulnerable members from April 14 to October 15.
It added that the estimated amount to be disbursed was $238 million.
“This tranche of grants for debt service relief will continue to help free up scarce financial resources for vital emergency health, social and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Subject to the availability of sufficient resources in the CCRT, debt service relief could be provided for the remaining period from October 16, 2021, to April 13, 2022, amounting to a total of about $964 million,” stated IMF.
The third CCRT tranche beneficiaries are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.
Others are Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.
The IMF said in March 2020, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva launched an urgent fundraising effort to raise $1.4 billion in grants for the CCRT.
This, it said, would enable the CCRT to provide financial assistance for relief on debt service for up to a maximum of two years while leaving the CCRT adequately funded for future needs.
Thus far, donors had pledged contributions totalling about $774 million, including from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, China, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Malta.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the IMF received the European Union (EU)’s contribution of $199 million to the CCRT.
This disbursement is part of the EU’s overall contribution of $215 million to the CCRT.
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