IMF okays reforms to support low-income countries

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Washington

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ap-proved a number of policy reforms and a funding package that aim to support the recovery of low income countries (LICs) from the Covid-19 pan-demic.

The new measures boost access to concessional financing by 45 percent and remove limitations on access for the poorest countries.

This will allow them to receive full support from the IMF when their economic programmes “are assessed to war-rant exceptional levels of assistance”.

“These higher access limits will allow provision of more concessional support to countries with large balance of payments needs that are implementing strong economic programmes to restore inclusive growth, while maintaining sustainable debt posi-tions,” the IMF said.

The Washington lender’s board also approved a two-stage funding strategy to cover the cost of pan-demic-related concessional lending and support the sustainability of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.

The IMF provided financial assistance to 53 of 69 eligible low-income countries in 2020 and in the first half of this year.

About $14 billion has been provided as zero percent interest rate loans from the PRGT. The fund provided debt service relief to 29 of its poorest and most vulnerable member states. —TLTP

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