Africa: Finance Ministers Make Promises to Developing Countries

14 March 2009

Finance ministers from the world's most powerful countries say they are committed to helping developing economies in the face of the global financial crisis.

Finance ministers from the G20 grouping of nations issued a communique after a meeting in Britain Saturday, saying they would help emerging and developing countries to cope with the reversal in capital flows and would mobilise international financial resources to help these countries.

In an apparent response to a meeting arranged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Tanzanian government in Dar es Salaam this week, the finance ministers said there was a need to boost IMF resources "very substantially."

South Africa is the only African member of the G20. South African finance minister Trevor Manuel and central banker Tito Mboweni attended the meeting, which was held to prepare for the "London Summit," a crucial meeting of G20 heads of state and government in London early in April.

The full text of the relevant section of the communique follows:

"We are committed to helping emerging and developing economies to cope with the reversal in international capital flows. We recognise the urgent need to pursue all options for mobilising International Financial Institution (IFI) resources and liquidity to finance countercyclical spending, bank recapitalisation, infrastructure, trade finance, rollover risk and social support.

"We agreed on the urgent need to increase IMF resources very substantially. This could include further bilateral support, a significantly expanded and increased New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB), and an accelerated quota review.

"We should also ensure that all Multilateral Development Banks have the capital they need, beginning with a substantial capital increase for the Asian Development Bank, and put it to best use to help the world’s poorest.

"We welcomed the progress by the IMF and World Bank in introducing new and enhanced instruments, including the development of a new high-access, quick-disbursing precautionary facility."

Full text of G20 communique

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