IMF backs new SDR allocation for pandemic recovery


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IMF backs new SDR allocation for pandemic recovery

Geneva, July 9 (IANS) The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a proposal for a new general Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation of $650 billion, the largest allocation in the organisation's history, to help recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

"I will now present the new SDR allocation proposal to the IMF's Board of Governors for their consideration and approval. If approved, we expect the SDR allocation to be completed by the end of August," Georgieva said in a statement.

"This is a shot in the arm for the world. The SDR allocation will boost the liquidity and reserves of all our member countries, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy," she said.

Noting that an SDR allocation in 2009 had contributed significantly to recovery from the global financial crisis, Georgieva believed that the new SDR allocation will help every IMF member country, particularly vulnerable countries, strengthen their response to the Covid crisis, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We will maintain active engagement with our membership in the months ahead to identify viable options for voluntary channeling of SDRs from wealthier members to support our poorer and more vulnerable countries to help their pandemic recovery and achieve resilient and sustainable growth, which will also help boost global economic recovery," she said.

Final approval of the SDR allocation by the Board of Governors requires an 85 per cent majority of the total voting power of all IMF members.

The allocation would be implemented and become effective 21 days after the Board of Governors' approval, sometime in late August, according to the IMF.

The SDR can be exchanged among governments for freely usable currencies in times of need.

The IMF executive board's approval came a day after Georgieva called for urgent action by the G20 and policymakers across the globe to address a worsening "two-track" recovery.

The IMF chief urged G20 policymakers to step up international cooperation to end the pandemic, step up efforts to secure recovery, and step up support for vulnerable economies.

IMF staff recently outlined a $50 billion plan that could lead to trillions of dollars gained from faster vaccine rollout and accelerated recovery.

"This would be the best public investment of our lives and a global game-changer," Georgieva added.