The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced the approval of debt service relief to 25 countries.
KanyiDaily recalls that the Federal Government had announced that it is seeking to borrow $3.4 billion from the IMF to fund the coronavirus fight in Nigeria.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said the borrowing became imperative as a result of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which had led to unprecedented disruption in global supply chains.
However, in a statement by its Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF granted debt relief to 25 countries, mostly African nations excluding Nigeria.
“Today, I am pleased to say that our executive board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
She said the Executive Board gave the approval under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.
“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources.
“Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions. I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries”, Georgieva noted.
The beneficiary-countries are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The 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.