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IMF Approves Aid For World’s 28 Poorest Countries

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved new emergency aid for 28 of the world’s poorest countries to assist in their debt, and to help recover from the impact of the COVID19 Pandemic.

The announcement was in agreement with a similar measure disbursed in mid-April to 25 countries. The aid  is considered to assist their debt repayments to the IMF for the next six months and ‘free up scarce financial resources for vital emergency medical and other relief efforts’ during the pandemic.

The 28 countries receiving the second tranche of aid are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo and Yemen.

Mali is also qualified for aid but has not yet been added to the list because ‘there is a lack of clarity as to whether the international community recognizes or deals with the current military regime as the government of Mali,’ the IMF said.

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The debt relief is channeled through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which enables the IMF to provide grants to the poorest and most vulnerable countries hit by a natural disaster or public health crisis. Subject to sufficient resources in the CCRT, grants could be provided for a two-year period through mid-April 2022 for an estimated total amount of $959 million. The IMF’s goal is to endow the CCRT with $1.4 billion so that it can also meet future needs.

To date, $506.5 million has been contributed by several countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, China, Mexico, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Malta.

Peace Omenka

Photo Credit: IMF Blog

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