IMF extends zero-interest lending to poor countries

IMF Can Sell Gold Reserves to Extend Aid to Developing Countries

The IMF announced increased zero-interest lending for poor countries. IMF member countries further committed to investigate additional options to extend pandemic aid through 2029, including the selling of IMF gold reserves.

“Poor countries need more support to confront the health and economic devastation caused by the coronavirus,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "While the IMF action is helpful, it still falls short of delivering the support developing countries need." 

The Fund's announcement means zero-interest poor country lending increases through the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. Last year the IMF facility boosted lending for poor country COVID response. An IMF paper listed a limited sale of IMF gold reserves as a way to meet funding shortfalls.

“In the past IMF gold reserves were sold to support poor countries," stated LeCompte. LeCompte's organization Jubilee USA organized nearly 270 religious and development groups to sign a letter to the IMF calling for COVID response aid including the selling of IMF gold. "Most of the world's people face incredible suffering because of the pandemic. All funding options must be on the table."

Read Jubilee USA's IMF COVID response letter with nearly 270 signatories here.

Read the IMF policy paper on zero-interest lending here.