By Haruna Gimba
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a third tranche of grants for debt service relief for 28 member countries under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
The approval follows two prior tranches approved on April 13, 2020 and October 2, 2020, respectively.
Health Reporters gathered that the IMF enables the disbursement of grants from the CCRT for payment of all eligible debt service falling due to the fund from its poorest and most vulnerable members from April 14, 2021 to October 15, 2021, estimated at SDR 168 (US$238) million.
“This tranche of grants for debt service relief will continue to help free up scarce financial resources for vital emergency health, social, and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Subject to the availability of sufficient resources in the CCRT, debt service relief could be provided for the remaining period through from October 16, 2021 to April 13, 2022 amounting to a total of about SDR 680 (US$964) million,” a statement issued by IMF in Washington stated.
In March 2020, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva launched an urgent fundraising effort to raise SDR 1 billion (US$1.4 billion) in grants for the CCRT.
According the statement, it would enable the CCRT to provide financial assistance for relief on debt service for up to a maximum of two years, while leaving the CCRT adequately funded for future needs.
Thus far, donors have pledged contributions totaling about SDR 545 million (US$774 million), including from the European Union, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, China, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Malta.