By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) - The International Monetary Fund has eased access to its emergency facilities and raised the ability of the poorest countries to strengthen their crisis response to the coronavirus pandemic, the fund’s managing director said late Tuesday.
While the global economy is facing a shutdown, creditors should contribute to poorest countries with debt relief, Kristalina Georgieva told an extraordinary conference call of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.
She stressed that the fund's Executive Board has approved reforms to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which allows the fund's poorest members to invest against the pandemic instead of making payments.
She also said: "The U.S. recently approved the doubling of the New Arrangements to Borrow, and our Executive Board yesterday agreed on a new round of bilateral borrowing to secure the IMF’s $1 trillion lending capacity."
"We welcome the decisive actions many of you have taken to shield people and the economy from COVID-19, that led to a decline in volatility in major financial markets in recent days," she added.
After emerging in Wuhan, China in December, the virus has spread to at least 180 countries and regions, with confirmed cases topping 860,000.
The global death toll from the virus climbed above 42,000, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than 178,000 patients have recovered.