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The board of the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) on Friday approved a plan to distribute $650 billion in reserve funds to help poorer nations with their vaccine rollouts and pandemic recovery efforts—an announcement that comes after the I.M.F., like other international aid organizations, warned of an unequal world comeback from Covid-19.
The plan must now be approved by the I.M.F.’s board of governors, which is expected.
The new funds would constitute the largest increase in currency reserves in the I.M.F.’s 75 year existence, and would be available by next month.
Under the Biden administration, the U.S. supported an increase to the I.M.F.’s reserves, a pivot from the Trump administration’s stance.
If approved, the money can be used by poorer countries to buy vaccines, and pay down debt it took on during the pandemic.
“This is a shot in the arm for the world,” the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, said in a statement.
Last year, the Trump administration rebuffed calls to increase the I.M.F.’s reserves, arguing the funds would benefit richer countries the most.
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“A sustainable economic recovery cannot be achieved anywhere unless we defeat the pandemic everywhere,” Georgieva warned ahead of the G-20 summit last year. “We can build the impetus for growth, jobs, and address climate change, far more effectively if we work together.”
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
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