DRC, Rwanda Among 19 African Countries Receiving IMF Debt Relief

AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Flickr/Embassy of Equatorial Guinea

AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Flickr/Embassy of Equatorial Guinea

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $500 million package, a six-month debt service relief to twenty-five developing nations, but Kenya is not one of them.

In Africa, 19 countries will benefit from the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to IMF, the funds will help them “to channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.”

The 25 countries out of which 19 were African nations.

They included: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

The non-African bloc is Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan and Yemen.

According to Focus Economics Kenya is ranked at position 17 among the world’s poorest countries with a Gross Domestic Product Per Capita of $1960.5 (KSh207,636.55).

There are projections it is likely to fall further to position 15 over the next three years, despite GDP per capita growing to $2357.12 (KSh249,642.58). Beneficiaries of the IMF’s grant is for countries whose per capita income is below $1,215 (KSh128,790).

Kenya Seeks Ksh.116bn from World Bank and IMF for Economic Relief

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said the CCRT can currently provide about $500 million (KSh53 billion) in grant-based debt service relief, including $185 million (KSh19.6 billion) pledge by the U.K. and $100 million (KSh10.6 billion) provided by Japan as immediately available resources.

“Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions,” Georgieva added.