On October 10, 2013, the International Monetary Fund announced that member countries have approved their commitment to fund the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) for concessional lending. Financing comes from windfall profits made from the IMF selling part of their gold reserves that currently totals $3.4 billion. Currently, the IMF provides zero-interest financing to low-income nations through this fund.
"We applaud the IMF for using windfall gold sale profits to benefit poor countries," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a faith-based antipoverty organization. "There remain aspects of lending that we are concerned about, but zero percent interest loans means real relief for millions of the world's most vulnerable people."
In 2010, the IMF completed the sale of 403.3 metric tons of gold from its own reserves. The Fund earned a windfall profit of $3.8 billion due to the high market price of gold at the time.
Jubilee USA, along with our partners at the ONE Campaign and Oxfam International, urged the IMF to use the windfall profits to ensure that low-income countries had zero percent interest rates. In 2010, we delivered tens of thousands of petitions and organized 60 global partners to push the Fund towards debt relief. From that point, we have been meeting with IMF Executive Directors and at the end of 2012 the IMF approved the use of windfall profits for the PRGT if ninety percent of the stakeholders agreed to release the funds. Today, the IMF announced that the threshold has been met.
Read the IMF press release here.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 300 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org