IMF extends emergency funding by 18 months due to Covid-19

Johannesburg – The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it will extend its flexible access to emergency funding for an additional 18 months to help nations severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMF’s executive board agreed on Monday to “temporary increases to the cumulative access limits under its emergency financing instruments” through June 2023, said the Washington-based crisis lender in a statement.

In April 2020, as the world faced the first wave of coronavirus infections and deaths, the IMF eased access to such aid, including raising the level of funding that countries could obtain.

The programs have already been extended twice, in September 2020 and again last March.

The board also argued that “all other access limits” which had been temporarily increased will be reduced to their pre-pandemic levels beginning January 1, 2022 as scheduled.

“This decision reflects the expected and ongoing gradual shift to upper-credit-tranche quality arrangements from emergency financing triggered by urgent, pandemic-related balance of payment needs,” said the IMF.

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