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International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
2018-19 Review of Facilities for Low-Income Countries---Reform Proposals: Review Of The Financing Of The Fund’s Concessional Assistance And Debt Relief To Low-Income Member Countries
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is facing strong demand for financing from low-income countries (LICs). Commodity price shocks and loose fiscal policies have contributed to rising debt levels and financing needs in many countries. Several developing states, especially smaller ones, are also increasingly vulnerable to large natural disasters. At the same time, many LICs less dependent on commodity exports have enjoyed robust growth in recent years, with more contained vulnerabilities.
International Monetary Fund
The Fund’s existing facilities for low-income countries (LICs) provide a vehicle for the speedy provision of financial assistance to member countries hit by natural disasters, either through the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) or through augmentation of the funding already being provided through other facilities such as the Standby or Extended Credit Facilities. The quick disbursement of funds strengthens national financial capacity, including external payments capacity, to tackle relief and recovery challenges. To address catastrophic disasters, the Fund created a mechanism in 2010 to provide additional relief to its poorest and most vulnerable member countries to help meet their exceptional balance of payments needs. Under this mechanism, the Fund can provide grants from a trust fund—the Post Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) trust—that are used to pay off debt service falling due to the Fund. These grants ease pressures on the member’s balance of payments and create financial space by reducing its debt service burden. This paper proposes reforms to this mechanism to cover situations where the member is experiencing an epidemic of an infectious disease that constitutes a significant threat to lives, economic activity, and international commerce across countries.