Coronavirus News Asia

IMF refuses aid to Venezuela in midst of Covid-19 crisis

On Monday, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, wrote a blog post on the Fund’s website; it represents the kind of generosity necessary in the midst of a global pandemic. “The IMF stands ready to mobilize its $1 trillion lending capacity to help our membership,” she wrote.

Countries with “urgent balance-of-payments needs” could be helped by the IMF’s “flexible and rapid-disbursing emergency response toolkit.” Through these mechanisms, the IMF said it could provide US$50 billion to developing countries and $10 billion to low-income countries at a zero-interest rate.

The day before Georgieva made this public statement, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the IMF asking for funds to finance the government’s “detection and response systems” for its efforts against Covid-19. In the letter, President Nicolas Maduro wrote that his government was “taking different preventive measures and following through strict and exhaustive controls to protect the Venezuelan people.” These measures required funding, which is why the government was “turning to your honorable organization to request its evaluation about the possibility of authorizing Venezuela a financing line of $5 billion from the Rapid Financing Instrument emergency fund.”

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