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Guterres asks IMF for debt relief for developing countries

The secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, on Tuesday called for an increase in financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and debt relief to help developing and middle-income countries recover from the new pandemic. coronavirus.

Guterres said in an online event that IMF members should agree to a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from the IMF, somewhat similar to the printing of money by a central bank, in addition to supporting voluntary relocation of existing SDRs.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva had asked for a new allocation of SDRs at the start of the crisis, but met with opposition from the United States, the largest IMF shareholder.

Civil society groups and many countries support this measure, but US officials say it would mainly benefit rich countries. Instead, Washington advocated increasing contributions to the two IMF tools that help the poorest countries, although it has not yet done so.

At a subsequent press conference, Guterres also called on countries around the world to increase contributions to the joint vaccine development effort for covid-19.

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