IMF Announces $650 Billion in Emergency Reserves Needed to Confront Pandemic Crisis

The International Monetary Fund announced $650 billion in emergency reserve funds are needed to confront the global coronavirus health and economic crisis. The funds are likened to a type of currency the International Monetary Fund creates, called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

"This announcement is incredible progress," stated Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's development group advocated the use of these emergency reserve funds for more than a year. "This information now helps countries, like the United States, begin a process to authorize the creation of these emergency funds. Developing countries need these resources to confront the crisis as soon as possible."

About $224 billion would immediately go to developing low-income and middle-income countries in the creation of $650 billion SDRs. US Treasury has called for the remaining amount to be donated to support vulnerable countries.

SDRs were last created following the 2008 financial crisis. On Tuesday, Jubilee USA Network organized a roundtable with high-ranking religious leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that focused on SDRs.

"Special Drawing Rights can provide support for countries struggling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus," noted LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "As countries are struggling with the crisis, SDRs are an important part of the relief developing countries need."

In February, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA sent a letter on SDRs to President Biden and Yellen. Jubilee USA Network with Latindadd, a Latin American development group, organized a letter with more than 200 organizations calling on the G20 to support a SDR issuance.

On Friday, the G7 agreed to a "sizeable" new issuance of Special Drawing Rights.

Read about Friday's G7 SDR announcement here.

Read about the March 16th Secretary Yellen Jubilee USA Network Meeting here.

Read the letter on SDRs, aid and debt relief from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network here.

Read the letter organized by Jubilee USA with 200 plus signers urging the G20 to support SDRs here.

Read the IMF Managing Director's statement here