Sierra Leone: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday 5th April, 2021 received the European Union (EU)’s contribution of SDR 141 million (equivalent to €170 million or US$199 million) to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT).
This global recovery contribution provides grants for debt service relief to countries hit by catastrophic events, including public health disasters such as COVID-19, according to a statement from the Fund.
“The EU’s generous contribution of €183 million is critical to help the world’s most vulnerable countries cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and continue providing health care, economic and social support for their people. I am grateful to the EU and its member states for their support and strong partnership. I urge other countries to contribute to the CCRT so we can in turn support our most vulnerable member countries,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva noted.
Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “Through this contribution to the CCRT, Team Europe continues to stand in solidarity with its most vulnerable partners. In this difficult period, the resources freed up can provide social services for the most vulnerable people, such as access to essential healthcare and education for young people, including girls. Team Europe’s Global Recovery Initiative is working to provide debt relief and sustainable investment for the SDGs.”
This disbursement is part of the EU’s overall contribution of €183 million (SDR152 million or US$215 million) to the CCRT and finances grants for the third tranche of CCRT debt service relief that was approved by the IMF´s Executive Board on 1st April, 2021.
According to the Fund, the EU they say stands ready to disburse its remaining grant contribution in support of additional debt service relief in the context of potential future CCRT tranches. With this contribution, the EU, together with the EU institutions and its Member states, have committed more than half of the current CCRT pledges.
Together with the third tranche, the IMF has provided about SDR519 million (about US$736 million or €626 million) in grants for debt relief to all 29 CCRT – eligible members since the pandemic began in early 2020.
The purpose of the debt relief initiative under the CCRT is to free up resources to meet exceptional balance of payments needs created by the disaster rather than having to allocate those resources to debt service.
This €183 million contribution is fully in line with Commission President von der Leyen’s proposal for a Global Recovery Initiative that links investments and debt relief to the Sustainable Development Goals.
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