IMF chief economist: G20 should consider SDRs among COVID financing options

FILE PHOTO: Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaks during a news conference in Santiago, Chile, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Group of 20 major economies need to focus on broad-based vaccine rollouts and consider all financing options for deeply distressed countries, including an allocation of International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights, the IMF’s chief economist said.

Gita Gopinath said in a Jan. 28 online lecture to the National Council of Applied Economic Research that additional support will be needed for poor countries who could “barely spend during this pandemic” and will fall severely behind economically.

“It’s important for the international community to come through with financing, in terms of concessional financing, with grants. Everything should be on the table, including SDRs,” Gopinath said.

(This story corrects date of lecture to January 28, not Wednesday)

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