The Solomon Islands becomes the only Pacific country approved by the IMF for debt service relief
Solomon Islands is the only Pacific country named by the International Monetary Fund among 25 nations approved for immediate debt service relief to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This week, the IMF's managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, announced six months of debt service relief for 19 African countries as well as Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Tajikistan, Yemen and Solomon Islands.
In effect what this means is that the Solomon Islands will see six months of its debt payments to the IMF cancelled so the country can concentrate on keeping COVID-19 out of the country
On Monday the IMF Executive Director Kristalina Georgieva issued a statement saying the IMF executive board approved the immediate debt service relief for 19 African countries, Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan and Yemen.
“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts,” Georgieva said.
She said the money will come from the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which will use recent pledges of USD$185 million from the United Kingdom and USD$100 million from Japan. She urged other donors to help replenish the trust’s resources.
The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and a group of 165 former global leaders and prominent international figures had urged the suspension of debt repayments for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries so they can use their scant resources for the coronavirus crisis.
Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 U.S. organizations and 700 faith communities working for debt relief, called the IMF announcement “an incredibly positive step.”
News Sources Associated Press, Radio New Zealand and Solomon Times on Line.