16 Apr 2020

Solomons among 25 countries given debt service relief by the IMF

5:00 pm on 16 April 2020

Solomon Islands is the only Pacific country named by the International Monetary Fund among 25 nations approved for immediate debt service relief to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This week, the IMF's managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, announced six months of debt service relief for 19 African countries as well as Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Tajikistan, Yemen and Solomon Islands.

The IMF's Kristalina Georgieva

The IMF's Kristalina Georgieva Photo: IMF

"This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts," Ms Georgieva said.

The relief is being provided through the IMF's revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust which could currently provide about $US500 million in grant-based debt service relief thanks to recent pledges from countries like the United Kingdom, ($US185 million), and Japan ($US100 million).

"Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions," Ms Georgieva said.

"I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust's resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries."