Washington DC – As part of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF policymaking body, met on COVID-19 economic crisis response and recovery, debt, aid, Special Drawing Rights, tax and climate.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who monitored IMF meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the IMFC Communiqué and IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings:
"Given how the pandemic is becoming worse in most of the world's countries, I'm concerned by the lack of action at the meetings on vaccine distribution, debt relief and general pandemic response.
"As world leaders meet, there is a clear consensus that the lack of vaccine access in developing countries leads to more virus mutations and global economic challenges.
"It's baffling that we still don't have plans for the funding and distribution of vaccines to reach all developing countries.
"In the poorest countries, more than 96% of the populations are unvaccinated.
"The creation of $650 billion in emergency currency, or Special Drawing Rights, to fight the pandemic is important.
"Now the focus is finding ways for wealthy countries to transfer their Special Drawing Rights to developing countries.
"The Resilience and Sustainability Trust is an important vehicle for wealthy countries to share their Special Drawing Rights with developing countries to fight climate change.
"The new trust can provide long-term loans and includes vulnerable developing middle-income countries.
"It's encouraging that transferring Special Drawing Rights to development banks, is still being explored. This option could significantly increase funds for health and other public services.
"When a growing number of countries need IMF support, charging penalties and surcharges to members with loans is highly concerning.
"As the G20 debt suspension initiative ends, central banks prepare to raise interest rates. As interest rates rise, the debt crisis worsens in developing countries.
"The meetings failed to deliver details on how countries can reduce debts and how we can ensure that private creditors will participate in debt relief.
"The Common Framework must drastically cut debts as the pandemic worsens in poor countries.
"It's promising that global agreements to curb tax avoidance and evasion are moving forward. The IMF must continue to look as how these tax policies can benefit developing countries.
"Climate and stability of the global economy are closely linked.
"It's clear that climate change is causing economic challenges and shocks for many countries.
"Finance ministers are asking the IMF to do more to tackle economic and financial risks related to climate change."
Read the International Monetary and Financial Committee communiqué here.
Read Jubilee USA's press release on the IMF World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report here.