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World|business|March 5, 2020 / 12:06 PM
IMF provides $50 billion to help address coronavirus

AKIPRESS.COM - The IMF is making available about $50 billion through its rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities for low income and emerging market countries that could potentially seek support. Of this, $10 billion is available at zero interest for the poorest members through the Rapid Credit Facility.

"We know that the disease is spreading quickly. With over one-third of our membership affected directly, this is no longer a regional issue – it is a global problem calling for a global response. Experience suggests that about one-third of the economic losses from the disease will be direct costs: from loss of life, workplace closures, and quarantines. The remaining two-thirds will be indirect, reflecting a retrenchment in consumer confidence and business behavior and a tightening in financial markets.

I am particularly concerned about our low-income and more vulnerable members – these countries may see financing needs rise rapidly as the economic and human cost of the virus escalates," said World Bank Group President David Malpass.

The Fund has resources available to support the membership:

- Thanks to the generosity of our shareholders, we have about $1 trillion in overall lending capacity,

- For low-income countries, we have rapid-disbursing emergency financing of up to $10 billion (50 percent of quota of eligible members) that can be accessed without a full-fledged IMF program,

- Other members can access emergency financing through the Rapid Financing Instrument. This facility could provide about $40 billion for emerging markets that could potentially approach us for financial support,

-We also have the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust – the CCRT – which provides eligible countries with up-front grants for relief on IMF debt service falling due. The CCRT proved to be effective during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, but is now underfunded with just over $200 million available against possible needs of over $1 billion. I called on member countries to help ensure that this facility is fully re-charged and ready for the current crisis, said David Malpass.

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