What’s the Best Way to Bolster the IMF’s Capacity to Lend to Low-Income Countries?

The IMF’s concessional lending to low-income countries through its Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) has risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic and demand for the PRGT resources is expected to remain above pre-pandemic levels for quite some time. But the surge in lending has strained the PRGT's finances—loan resources have dwindled, subsidy costs have risen sharply, and reserves need bolstering. Projections show the risks to PRGT financing are accentuated given the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising global interest rates. A multi-pronged decade-long effort is needed to ensure sound PRGT financing: (1) reinforce current fundraising efforts for loan and subsidy resources; (2) promote the use of the PRGT's deposit investment account; (3) terminate the reimbursement of PRGT administrative resources to the IMF's General Resources Account and (4) begin a discussion on IMF gold sales to take place in the out years. Each prong of the effort should start immediately, given the time lags involved in reaching consensus and implementation.

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