IMF criticised for dropping tough loan standards for Covid funds

The IMF's deployment of billions, often without conditions, to help the world deal with the pandemic is causing concern that it is abandoning its focus as a hard-nosed lender of last resort.

09 January 2022 - 00:00 By Eric Martin

The International Monetary Fund’s deployment of $818bn (R12.7-trillion), often without conditions, to help the world deal with the Covid pandemic has raised concern among some former officials that it is abandoning its focus as a hard-nosed lender of last resort for distressed economies.

The IMF last year allocated a record $650bn in reserves, called special drawing rights (SDRs), for its 190 member countries to deal with pandemic fallout. The fund also dedicated $168bn to help 87 countries deal with the pandemic. About half of the countries received support through the rapid financing instrument, a loan that comes mostly without conditions...

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