Journal Issue

Enhancing the Emergency Financing Toolkit – Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic — Supplementary Proposal on Handling PRGT High-Access Procedures under Emergency Financing Requests

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2020
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It is proposed to suspend the implementation of high-access (HA) procedures called for under the policies governing access to the Fund’s concessional facilities for all requests for financing under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) during the period for which the Board has activated Pandemic Emergency Procedures. HA procedures are triggered when a request for Fund financing brings total access to more than 180 percent of quota over a 36-month period or when total outstanding credit from the PRGT exceeds or is projected, given proposed commitments, to exceed 225 percent of quota. The 225 percent of quota credit threshold was added to trigger HA procedures in the context of the 2019 Review of Facilities for Low-Income Countries, to provide an extra level of scrutiny of PRGT financing requests against a backdrop of heightened debt vulnerabilities. HA procedures require an informal Board session based on a short staff note that includes discussion of program strength, capacity to repay, and debt vulnerabilities. The proposal to temporarily suspend HA procedures for RCF requests, including the staff note, is motivated by the urgent nature of the financing needs of members confronting the pandemic, which calls for a streamlining of procedures. If the RCF annual access limit is increased to 100 percent, accessing the maximum amount available would trigger HA procedures in up to 10 cases—some by small margins.

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