A total of 81 countries across the world have received $101 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in lending since March to address the Covid-19 pandemic and its related implications, the IMF announced Tuesday.
The announcement was included in the IMF’s Managing Director Global Policy Agenda that was released today as a part of the IMF and the World Bank’s Board of Governors’ annual meetings that kicked off Monday.
The IMF also announced that 28 countries have been offered debt service relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust facilities.
Total lending commitments, as of the end of September, record SDR 196.65 billion (about $200 billion), including about $16.5 billion were allocated for countries as loans under the stan-by agreement (SBA) and the rapid financing instrument (RFI) facilities, according to IMF.
The IMF’s general department assets recorded $699 billion, including $633 in currency, $29 billion in SDR holdings and $31 billion in investments.
According to the Global Policy Agenda, the global economic outlook is improving, but recovery is partial, uneven and uncertain.
Developing economies and emerging market countries had more limited room to respond, according to the IMF. It also stressed that the crisis will inflict long-lasting scars, from the tragic loss of human life to damage to the workforce and firms, heavier debt burdens, heightened financial vulnerabilities, higher poverty, and deeper inequalities. Moreover, many countries may not return to the pre-Covid path of economic activity for several years.
The Global Policy Agenda urged bold action and policies that aim to underpin recovery, build more resilient economies and help the most vulnerable, stressing that they must restore confidence, support jobs, and boost growth.
Meanwhile, the Agenda called on all international financial institutions (IFIs), including the IMF, to work together to support the most vulnerable countries and people, especially developing economies and emerging market countries. These countries, according to the Agenda, have suffered a particularly heavy setback from the crisis, given their more limited space to implement large policy responses.
“Their access to external market financing was more constrained and, in some cases, cut off altogether. In many countries, large segments of the population rely on daily wages outside formal safety nets and are facing significant income losses. This year, the pandemic will reverse part of the progress made since the 1990s in reducing global poverty, and close to 90 million more people could fall into extreme poverty. The international community must do all it can to support the most vulnerable, and the Fund is geared to deploy all its resources and tools to serve its membership,” said IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva.
Georgieva added that the IMF remains deeply committed to helping its members overcome the coronavirus crisis, restore confidence, and tackle challenges on the road to a more resilient global economy, while protecting the most vulnerable.