Arab Today, arab today imf pressed to cancel debts of ebolahit countries
Last Updated : GMT 04:16:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

IMF pressed to cancel debts of Ebola-hit countries

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today IMF pressed to cancel debts of Ebola-hit countries

Health worker wheeled in quarantine tent
Washington - AFP

The International Monetary Fund is under mounting pressure to cancel the debts of the three poor West African countries hit hardest by Ebola, as their economies stall under the fallout from the disease.
The calls for a debt alleviation for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are coming not only from anti-poverty organizations.
In mid-December, a UN commission also urged serious consideration for eliminating at least some of the debts of the three countries.
And the United States, the IMF's largest shareholder, has taken a stand on the issue as well, exhorting the crisis lender to wipe out around a fifth of the $480 million in debt owed it by the trio.
Such a move would free resources to restart economic activities in the countries where the disease has taken more than 7,800 lives, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said.
Meeting in Australia in mid-November, the heads of the G20 group of leading economies stepped up the pressure when they said that the IMF's promise of $300 million to help fight the epidemic should include debt alleviation.
The calls for the IMF, which lends money to economies most in need, but usually with attached requirements for reforms and financial discipline, have spurred the institution into intense reflection, and it could come up with an initiative in January.
"Staff are looking at further options to provide support to the Ebola-hit countries, through reform of an existing facility," a Fund spokesman told AFP.
Traditionally bound to a narrow, orthodox mission of financial support and loans to governments that it expects to be repaid, the IMF in reality needs to expand its tools for aiding troubled economies.
After the earthquake disaster in Haiti of 2010, the Fund did create a mechanism for dealing with natural catastrophes that hit its borrowers.
That made way for the IMF to eliminate $268 million that the Haitian government owed to the fund.
But the mechanism is too restrictive to be applied to the Ebola epidemic: it is limited to "devastating" natural disasters.
According to advocates of the move, even if the loans come with zero interest rates, they constitute a constant burden that can financially strangle the governments of Ebola-hit countries.
"A broad criticism of using loans to help very poor countries is that, formally, no matter how bad their situation gets, they must repay every penny," said David Roodman, an independent expert on economic development.
Sierra Leone and Guinea both have had to make loan repayments this year to the IMF despite the Ebola crisis, according to Fund data.
The World Bank has understood the problem. It has mobilized $500 million for the three countries in the form of grants "which never need to be repaid," according to Bank spokesman Phil Hay.
Doing the same is proving more difficult for the IMF. "It's like asking a banker to embrace not getting repaid -- it goes against their nature," said Roodman.
The benefits of a debt writeoff would not be small.
"The important thing about financing coming through debt relief is that it allows long-term investment on social infrastructure" like strengthening health care systems, said Eric LeCompte of anti-poverty group Jubilee USA.
Indeed, the IMF has been accused of contributing to the weakening of the health care and disease prevention operations in Western Africa through tough austerity policies it required along with loans in the 1980s and 1990s.
That is the assessment of a recent study by three British institutions.
"Policies advocated by the IMF have contributed to underfunded, insufficiently staffed and poorly prepared health systems in the countries with Ebola outbreaks," said Cambridge sociologist and lead study author Alexander Kentikelenis.
But the IMF categorically rejected their conclusion.
"Such claims are based on a misunderstanding, and, in some cases, a misrepresentation, of IMF policies," a spokesman said.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today imf pressed to cancel debts of ebolahit countries Arab Today, arab today imf pressed to cancel debts of ebolahit countries

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today 11 family members dead in rebel push

GMT 07:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

11 family members dead in rebel push
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 20:39 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

China allocates $117 billion to expand railway network

GMT 11:16 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

US military defence technology firm Harris lands

GMT 11:11 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

UAE and Russia to develop fighter jet

GMT 10:33 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Surprising array of weapons on hand at Idex

GMT 10:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Poland launches new tender for military choppers
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today 57 monkeys carrying 'invasive' genes

GMT 16:00 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

57 monkeys carrying 'invasive' genes
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 14:51 2017 Monday ,20 February

Ways to acquire presentation skills

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday