The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Monday announced immediate debt relief for 25 countries most of them in Africa, including Rwanda, as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), the move means the IMF can provide grants to its poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months, while channeling more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.
“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources. Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions,” Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF said.
“I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries.”
The beneficiary countries of the debt relief include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, DR Congo, and The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Haiti.
Others are Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.
The death toll from COVID-19 on in Africa reached 788 Monday as the number of confirmed cases hit 14,524 across the continent, according figures by the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Highly COVID-19 hit African countries include South Africa with 2,173 confirmed cases, Egypt with 2,065 confirmed cases, Algeria with 1,914 confirmed cases, as well as Morocco with 1,661 confirmed cases, according to the statistics from Africa CDC.
The figures showed that some 2,570 people who were infected with the COVID-19 have recovered.