Liberia Among Countries to Benefit EU's SDR 141 Million

Liberia is among 28 countries in Africa and Asia to benefit European Union (EU)'s contribution of SDR 141 million (equivalent to EUR [170] million or US$[199] million) to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which provides grants for debt service relief to countries hit by catastrophic events, including public health disasters such as COVID-19.

According to the EU, the International Monetary Fund received the amount recently.

JuttaUrpilainen, 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."

IMF Managing Director KristalinaGeorgieva, noted: "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."

The EU says this disbursement is part of its overall contribution of €183 million (SDR [152] million or US$[215] million) to the CCRT. It finances grants for the third tranche of CCRT debt service relief that was approved by the IMF´s Executive Board on April 1, 2021.

The EU says it 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, has committed more than half of the current CCRT pledges.

The release says together with the third tranche, the IMF has provided about SDR [519] 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.

The beneficiaries of the third CCRT tranche are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

Background

The CCRT provides grants to pay debt service owed to the IMF by eligible low-income member countries that are hit by the most catastrophic of natural disasters or battling public health disasters--such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Press Release

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