LONDON (AP) – The group of seven leading industrialized countries proposed on Friday to strengthen the reserves of the International Monetary Fund for the first time since 2009, so that the Washington-based institution could provide more financial support to developing countries during coronavirus crisis.
In a virtual discussion hosted by British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, the seven finance ministers supported a “new and significant” increase in the IMF’s special drawing rights, a type of reserve that effectively complements existing member states’ reserves.
No financial details have been revealed and any increase will have to be signed by other countries at the spring IMF meeting in April.
The so-called SDRs, which were last issued in 2009 as part of the international response to the global financial crisis, could free up resources for developing countries to pay for coronavirus vaccines and food imports, as well as provide them with additional financial buffers. .
“Today’s key G7 agreement paves the way for decisive and concerted action in support of low-income world countries, ensuring that no country remains in the global economic recovery from the coronavirus,” said Sunak, who chaired the meeting as part of the British presidency of the G-7 this year.
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