IMF chief economist says 100 countries seek pandemic aid; more resources may be needed



International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath takes questions at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington
FILE PHOTO – International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath takes questions at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

April 14, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund views its $1 trillion in lending capacity as “quite substantial” to help members deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but further resources may be needed as the full brunt of the crisis reaches developing countries, its chief economist told Reuters on Tuesday.

Gita Gopinath said 100 of the IMF’s 189 members, of whom half were low-income countries, had now contacted the global lender about receiving emergency funding to beef up their efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and mitigate its economic impact.

She welcomed an agreement by international creditors to suspend debt payments for the poorest countries through the end of the year as a “very, very good step,” but said debt relief measures might have to be extended into 2021 since the worst of the pandemic’s effects had not yet been felt in many of the poorest countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Paul Simao)





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