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Reuters reports that the International Monetary Fund on Monday said it would provide immediate debt service relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to allow them to focus their scarce resources on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in a statement said the Fund’s executive board on Monday approved the first batch of countries to receive grants to cover their debt service obligations to the Fund for an initial six months.

She said the CCRT currently had about $500 million in resources, including new pledges of $185 million from Britain, $100 million from Japan, and undisclosed amounts from China, the Netherlands and others. The Fund is pushing to raise the amount available to $1.4 billion.

Key notes

  • IMF says will disburse debt relief to 25 countries under catastrophe containment and relief trust (CCRT).
  • Says will provide about $500 mln in grant-based debt relief to help countries address pandemic.
  • Says money for CCRT includes $185 mln from UK and $100 mln from japan, also pledges from china, Netherlands and others.