The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it would provide immediate debt relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to allow them to focus more financial resources on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the fund’s executive board approved on Monday the first batch of countries to receive grants to cover their debt service obligations to the fund for an initial six months.
She said the CCRT had about USD 500 million in resources on hand, including new pledges of USD 185 million from Britain, USD 100 million from Japan, and undisclosed amounts from China, the Netherlands and others. The fund is pushing to raise the amount available to USD 1.4 billion, Reuters reports.
About USD 215 million of the total would be used for grants to the first 25 countries over the next six months, with extensions possible up to two years, an IMF spokeswoman said.
The first countries that will receive debt service relief from the CCRT are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen, the IMF said.