Washington, DC - As the International Monetary Fund, G20 and world leaders consider urgent actions to confront the economic impacts of the coronavirus, a development group says IMF money is available to prevent crisis and support healthcare.
"We believe the Fund should take additional, deeper actions to expand debt relief, aid to the poorest countries in the world as well as offer greater relief to the so-called Middle Income Countries," wrote Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte in a letter to the head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva. "This is possible if the fund were to access the $140 billion we believe to be held in the IMF's gold sales reserve. These monies should be utilized to expand debt relief for the 76 poorest countries and other developing countries."
In a review of the latest IMF financial statements and calculating the current market value of the Fund's gold reserves, Jubilee USA estimates $140 billion is available in a "rainy day" fund.
"We are bracing for what could be the worst economic storm in our lifetimes and the time to use IMF gold reserves is now," stated LeCompte a United Nations finance expert who monitored IMF policies for the last decade. "We've used these funds before for Haiti after it was devastated by an earthquake and to get emergency aid to countries hit with the Ebola epidemic. Now is the time to use these funds again."
In order to offer debt relief and grant-like aid after Haiti's 2010 earthquake and when Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea were fighting Ebola in 2014 and 2015, monies in the SDA gold sales reserve was utilized.
On Monday a high-level Vatican official and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development called for a debt "Jubilee" for developing countries. Last week the IMF expanded debt relief facilities and encouraged the G20 to suspend debt payments for the 76 poorest countries.
"Over the last two weeks as the coronavirus took lives and pushed our economy into a recession, world leaders are trying to act quickly to stop a financial crisis that could rival the Great Depression," said LeCompte.