EU backs more funds for IMF, extends debt relief for poor countries

European Union finance ministers on Tuesday backed the idea of ​​increasing IMF funding and expanding debt relief for the poorest countries to help the global fight against the COVID crisis. 19.

The idea of ​​increasing the resources of the International Monetary Fund, called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), so that the lender of last resort can help more low-income countries emerged last year. Officials cite amounts ranging from $ 500 billion to $ 1,000 billion.

And last year, the G20, the group of the world’s 20 largest economies, approved a debt service suspension initiative, offering 73 of the poorest countries a six-month suspension of government debt payments. to government.

The initiative has already been extended once and will be discussed again at the next G20 meeting in April.

“Ministers discussed today how to support the world’s poorest countries, many of which are at high risk or in debt,” European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis told a press conference after talks with EU ministers.

He said the measures discussed included extending the debt service suspension initiative and supporting a new general allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights, although this requires careful analysis from the IMF. IMF.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Kevin Liffey)

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