The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that its financial assistance to low-income countries, most of which are in Africa, could hit $48 billion covering the current COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate aftermath.
In a release on its efforts to help low-income countries hard-hit by the pandemic, the Bretton Woods institution said that the large financing needs of poor countries are only likely to grow as they deal with the crisis and its economic impacts.
The fund noted that while providing stronger safeguards against taking on debt they cannot handle, for these efforts to aimed at assisting poorer countries to succeed, economically stronger member countries will have to play their part.
It stated that the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the economies of many low-income countries which has led to output growth stoppage or reversal, living standards decline, poverty increase, warning that a decade of solid progress is now threatened.
The IMF report stressed that financial assistance to 50 low-income countries reached $13 billion in 2020 compared to an average of $2 billion a year pre-pandemic: a more than six-fold increase while $739 million in grant-based debt service relief was granted to 29 of its poorest and most vulnerable members.