G20 must provide $ 650 billion boost to IMF, extend debt relief: activists

FILE PHOTO: The IMF logo can be seen outside the headquarters building in Washington

LONDON (Reuters) – The 20 largest economies are to support a $ 650 billion boost to the International Monetary Fund’s currency, reallocate existing reserves and extend debt payment relief to poorer countries, said said former policymakers and anti-poverty activists.

The letter also urged the G20 countries, whose finance chiefs are meeting on Friday, to fully fund the World Health Organization’s “ACT Accelerator” program to support COVID vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. 19 for the poorest countries.

“If we do not take these urgent steps, developing and emerging economies will face a disastrous lost decade with profound consequences for all of us in all G20 countries,” said Jamie Drummond, co-founder of the ONE campaign and one of the letter’s authors. . “Actions can start at the meeting tomorrow. “

Signed by former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and former ABSA CEO Maria Ramos, the letter is addressed to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, whose country holds the G20 presidency.

The authors suggest extending debt payment relief for poor countries until 2022 and expanding to include more debtors and creditors. The G20 group is expected to extend its Debt Service Suspension (DSSI) initiative for the poorest countries until the end of the year.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday she supported a new allocation of the currency from IMF Special Drawing Rights, but said broad parameters were needed to increase transparency on how reserves are used and negotiated.

The IMF last issued $ 250 billion in new foreign exchange reserves in 2009, as economies around the world battled the global financial crisis.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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