EU finance ministers back boost to iMF

European Union finance ministers have backed the idea of  boosting International Monetary Fund (IMF) funding and extending debt relief  for the poorest countries to help the global fight against the COVID-19 crisis.

The idea of  increasing the IMF's resources, called Special Drawing Rights, so that the lender of  last resort can help more low-income countries emerged last year.  Officials mention amounts ranging from US$500 billion to US$1 trillion.

Last year the G20 - the group of  the world's 20 biggest economies, approved a Debt Service Suspension Initiative, offering 73 of  the poorest countries a six-month suspension of  government-to-government debt payments.

The initiative has already been extended once and will be discussed again at the next G20 meeting, in April.

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