IMF gets $11.7 billion in pledges to aid poor countries, will review resources
By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that five wealthy countries pledged to provide $11.7 billion to an IMF loan and grant facility for poor countries, as the Fund's steering committee vowed to review the adequacy of resources needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that five wealthy countries pledged to provide $11.7 billion to an IMF loan and grant facility for poor countries, as the Fund's steering committee vowed to review the adequacy of resources needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the firm commitments to boost the capacity of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust came from Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia, representing nearly 70% of the $17 billion increase she asked for on Wednesday.
The pledges were made during a Thursday morning meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the global crisis lender's 24-member steering committee, held by videoconference.
Georgieva also said that Germany had pledged funds to another emergency grant facility to provide direct funds for the poorest countries, boosting the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust's resources to $600 million.
In a statement, the IMFC reaffirmed its commitment to a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced Fund, and said the IMF should draw on relevant experience from previous crises as it explores options to expand resources.
"We remain committed to revisiting the adequacy of quotas and continuing the process of IMF governance reform under the 16th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula as a guide, by December 15, 2023," the committee said.
The IMFC chairman, South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, told a news conference that the group showed "unprecedented global solidarity," with rich countries offering resources to the IMF "so that the IMF has got the firepower to deploy to countries that are vulnerable that do not have resources."
Georgieva said there was no consensus for a new Special Drawing Rights allocation, a move that would boost liquidity for all of the Fund's 189 members. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said the United States opposes such a move, confirming a Reuters report on Wednesday.
Georgieva said IMF members would explore how to deploy existing SDRs - the Fund's monetary unit of exchange - to boost lending to developing countries on a larger scale.
There is broad consensus for this, including support from Mnuchin, who oversees the controlling U.S. shareholding in the Fund.
But the IMFC made a reference to new SDR issuance in its statement, saying: "We also call on the IMF to explore additional tools that could serve its members’ needs as the crisis evolves, drawing on relevant experiences from previous crises.
In 2009, the IMF created a $250 billion allocation of new SDRs - a move akin to a central bank "printing" new money, which provided a liquidity boost to all IMF members.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.