The International Monetary Fund announced yesterday, Thursday, that it will extend for an additional 18 months the benefit of the emergency financing program to help countries severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement issued by the Washington-based fund said that its Executive Board had agreed on Monday to a “temporary increase” to the limits to the use of its resources under the emergency financing instruments until June 2023.
In April 2020, when the first wave of infections and deaths from the Corona virus hit the world, the IMF provided facilities for countries to access such aid, including raising the level of financing that countries can receive.
These programs have already been extended twice, in September 2020 and last March.
The Executive Board also agreed to reduce all other temporarily increased access limits to pre-pandemic levels, effective January 1, 2022.
The Fund stressed that the decision guarantees “continuous access” for member states to the IMF’s emergency financing programs, in the event of urgent problems in the balance of payments. They include the Rapid Credit Facility, an interest-free program available to low-income countries, and the Rapid Financing Instrument available to all members of the Fund.
Funds can be disbursed very quickly to help Member States implement emergency response policies.
The International Monetary Fund said Monday that it had approved the fifth and final round of debt relief under a program aimed at helping the poorest countries weather the pandemic.