• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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IMF increases annual, cumulative access limits for fund lending

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has temporarily increased the limits on members’ annual and cumulative access to the fund’s resources in the General Resources Account (GRA).

This is contained in a statement obtained from the IMF website on Tuesday in Abuja by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The statement said the changes were intended to better support the fund’s members in a particularly challenging and uncertain economic environment.

According to the statement, IMF lending is subject to both an annual and a cumulative limit on a member’s access to the fund’s general resources.

“Access to resources beyond these limits is subject to the requirements of the fund’s exceptional access framework.”

It said the access limits for the GRA were last set in 2016, with an annual limit of 145 per cent of quota and a cumulative limit of 435 per cent of quota.

The statement said the annual limit was also temporarily increased from mid-2020 to the end of 2021 to 245 per cent of quota, to help members contain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Today’s decision raises the annual limit in the GRA to 200 per cent of quota and the cumulative limit to 600 per cent of quota for a period of 12 months.

“These changes will provide member countries, particularly emerging markets and developing economies that face increased financing pressures and vulnerabilities, to access higher fund financial support without triggering the exceptional access framework.

“If circumstances warrant, staff would re-engage the executive board before the end of the 12-month period on a proposal to maintain for longer the higher GRA access limits.”

The statement said the executive board also discussed possible changes in access limits under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), the fund’s concessional financing arm.

It said PRGT access limits were last raised by 45 per cent in 2021, aligning them with GRA access limits for the first time.

“Demand for PRGT resources has increased sharply and is expected to grow further given successive shocks.

“The fund will undertake a review of PRGT access limits once sufficient additional resources have been pledged to the PRGT, which currently faces a sizable subsidy resource gap.

“The IMF is working closely with members to fill this gap.