The International Monetary Fund announced immediate debt relief for 25 poor countries on Monday to help them release funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"This will provide grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for a first phase over the next six months, and will help them use more of their scarce financial resources for key emergency medical and other relief efforts," said IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.
The IMF board approved debt relief for countries, almost all of them in Africa, but also for Afghanistan, Yemen, Nepal and Haiti.
Together with the World Bank, the fund has urged the rich nations to stop collecting debts from poor countries from May 1 to June 2021.
The debt relief is funded by the IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which was first set up to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2015 and was used to help countries fight COVID-19.
The fund currently has $ 500 million, with Japan, the UK, China and the Netherlands being the main contributors.
"I urge other donors to help us replenish the trust's resources and further improve our ability to grant additional debt relief to our poorest member countries for two years," said Georgieva.
Last week, the World Bank announced a 15-month period of $ 160 billion in emergency aid to help countries affected by the virus, including $ 14 billion in debt repayments from 76 poor countries to other governments.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)