Coronavirus: IMF, World Bank to support member countries

Wed, 4 Mar 2020 Source: togofirst.com

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is working closely with its development partners—World Bank, World Health Organisation, and Asian Development Bank—and other health officials to provide timely policy advice, technical assistance, and financial support to help countries respond to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) provide emergency financial assistance to member countries without the need to have a full-fledged programme in place.

These loans the IMF said can be disbursed very quickly to assist member countries implement policies to address emergencies such as the coronavirus. In 2016, the IMF provided an RFI emergency loan to Ecuador after it suffered one of the strongest earthquakes in decades.

The IMF added that it will continue to provide grants for debt relief to the poorest and most vulnerable countries with outstanding obligations to the Fund to help address disasters, including public health disasters. This facility was used to support Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

“Given the need to quickly redirect public resources, the IMF will remain closely engaged with the affected member countries and development partners, working as needed to reprioritise capacity development activities”, it emphasised.

The Breton Wood institution had already said it will adopt a “virtual format” for next month’s Spring Meetings instead of convening in person in Washington.

The institutions’ Spring Meetings, scheduled this year for April 17-19, usually bring some 10,000 government officials, business people, civil society representatives and journalists from across the globe to a tightly packed, two-block area of downtown Washington that houses their headquarters.

Source: togofirst.com