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IMF approves $650 billion expansion to fight pandemic – 95.5 WSB

WASHINGTON – (AP) – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has approved an $ 650 billion expansion of resources to support economically vulnerable countries as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that the new support, the largest such expansion in the history of the 190-member credit institution, would be a “shot in the arm”.

To put the amount of funding expansion in context, the IMF has approved an increase in SDR reserves of $ 250 billion since the 2008 financial crisis.

This is a reversal of the position taken by the Trump administration, and began in February, when the Biden administration backed the effort.

Republican members of Congress objected to the funding, saying IMF expanded resources would benefit American adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran. However, the assistance is strongly supported by international support agencies.

Eric Lecompte, executive director of the religiously affiliated development group Jubilee USA Network, said the IMF’s action would allow developing countries to immediately receive more than $ 200 billion in support.

“Rich countries that receive emergency reserves that they don’t need need to transfer those resources to developing countries struggling with the pandemic,” LeCompte said.

More than six months after vaccines became available, reported deaths from COVID-19 worldwide fell to about 7,800 each day, reaching more than 18,000 a day in January. The World Health Organization registered just under 54,000 deaths last week, the lowest weekly since October last year.

However, COVID-19 highlighted global inequality as global deaths climbed to 4 million, a milestone recorded Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccination devices are just beginning in Africa and other desperately poor parts of the world due to the extreme shortage of photos.

To finance the costs, the IMF will expand its special drawing rights, a foreign exchange reserve that can be used by IMF member countries.

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