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March 2021

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Saint-Louis churches buy back $ 12.9 million in medical debt, then give it away | Metro

Reverend James Ross, pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church in St. Louis, said he sees the need when a nurse shows up to help those in the pantry queue.

“For some people, it’s the only access to medical care they have, and it’s a shame in the richest country in the world,” Ross said. “So at Pilgrim we were delighted to contribute to that. … We know that this matters to the 11,000 families involved, and yet we know that there is much more to be done because while it helps, it does not transform the system.

Rick Stevens, president of Christian Hospital, told the event that a family of three must earn less than $ 4,500 to be eligible for Medicaid in Missouri. He said he supports the expansion of Medicaid and calls on voters to do so in November.

“It can be done,” he said, mentioning similar efforts in Montana and Kansas.

U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay, D-University City, also at the announcement, later said that the policy entrenched since the passage in 2010 of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, is the main obstacle.

He said medical debt was crushing families and limiting the future in Missouri. He said he was alarmed by the closure of hospitals in rural areas. More and more people are traveling hundreds of kilometers, often to Saint-Louis, to obtain adequate health care.


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How a YouTuber paid off $ 10,000 in credit card debt in 6 months

  • 24-year-old college student and YouTuber Tiffany Ferguson paid off $ 10,000 in credit card debt in six months.
  • With an income of approximately $ 75,000 in 2019 – which equates to approximately $ 50,000 after taxes and business expenses – Ferguson said she used four strategies to quickly get rid of her five-figure debt.
  • From around 18 to 20, she had a balance of up to $ 1,000 a month, but it skyrocketed after six months of study abroad and a few unexpected dental surgeries.
  • She said she used EveryDollar, Google Sheets and QuickBooks to reduce her debt and shared her budget template, budget spreadsheet and a screenshot of her EveryDollar app with Business Insider.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Tiffany Ferguson paid off $ 10,000 in credit card debt in six months. And she wants to help others do the same.

The 24-year-old is a YouTuber and a college student, and she racked up debt for about three years, ranging from 18 to 20.

With almost always a balance of up to $ 1,000, the debt was incurred primarily when it needed to make ends meet between paychecks all the way to college. This balance plus six months of study abroad in France and a few unscheduled dental surgeries quickly amounted to $ 10,000.

“Overall, I was a young adult, college student, just trying to survive, without the financial support of anyone else,” Ferguson told Business Insider.

“I certainly had irresponsible spending habits, but I think my biggest problem was not being able to work enough or earn enough money to meet my bills, let alone start paying off my debts. sure a lot of people would say I shouldn’t have studied abroad or paid to straighten my teeth. “

Ferguson had never made more than around $ 25,000 a year until 2019, when YouTube became his full-time job.

At the end of 2019, his total income for the year was around $ 75,000, which fell to $ 71,000 after business expenses and around $ 50,000 after taxes. From there, she made the decision to pay off her entire $ 10,000 credit card debt (she also managed to spend about $ 8,800 in total on her student loans).

With average expenses of around $ 3,000 per month, his income has fallen to around $ 36,000 for the year, meaning that in total, nearly $ 20,000 of his after-tax income of $ 50,000 is went to debt repayment and about $ 30,000 to other bills and expenses.

Ferguson said one of her biggest challenges in 2019, the first year she was earning more than she used to, was spending extra money on her debt.

A debt repayment journey, reported on YouTube

“At the start of the year,” she said, “I decided to publicly announce my debt repayment journey on YouTube, in part to hold myself accountable. Once I was ready and committed, my actual strategies included tracking all of my expenses, creating spreadsheets, and making additional payments to my debt whenever possible. “

“I use the EveryDollar app to track and categorize my spending,” Tiffany said. “Once I categorize the expenses in EveryDollar, I enter the totals into my annual budget sheet from Google Sheets.” She said she customized the apps to have corresponding categories so she could transfer the same expenses between them.

She entered her monthly income, taxes saved or paid, savings, etc. “The annual budget sheet makes it easier to get a complete overview of my inflows versus my outflows for the year. “

By budgeting each month, she was able to see how much interest she was being charged on her credit card balance. It was over $ 100 for seven of the first eight months, but since she reduced it, it was $ 50 or less from September through December.

Tiffany also said she uses QuickBooks to track her business expenses, income, and tax payments.

Tiffany’s Youtube video detailing her milestones has over 280,000 views to date, and she has shared her exact budgets with Business Insider.

Read on to see the budget sheets Tiffany used to pay off her credit card debt.


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DSM NY Launches Student Debt Relief Collection

November 17, DJ4Animals will launch a capsule collection of varsity-style clothing at Dover Street Market in New York title, State University Fund for Free Education. The pieces refer to the designer’s personal experience with student debt. and aim to raise awareness of the prohibitive tuition fee increases and the socio-economic implications of having – or not having – a university degree. This is the first collection under the core organization of DJ4Animals, SUFE Fund, which provides students with financial mentoring and resources with the aim of making higher education accessible and affordable for all.

With reworked pieces bearing the designer’s signature ‘FREE EDUCATION’, the collection examines what happens when graduates metaphorically shed their ‘college skin’ and financial concerns become pervasive. With SUFE, seeks to change this narrative so that students can use their studies to thrive and embrace positive change rather than just survive.

The next drop will offer SUFE Printed t-shirts for $ 70 USD, ten limited edition Promissory Note hoodies for $ 395 and a special Dover Street Market promissory note stitched hoodie for $ 625. Visit the physical location or DSM NY online shop November 17 to buy.

Dover Street Market also joins the fight against food insecurity in partnership with Sky High Farms, using Awake NY, Denim Tears and more to create exclusive garments.



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SL-PAK will work on Debt Relief, Connectivity: Khan

  • PAK PM Says Developed Countries Must Support Poor In Poor Countries
  • Khan supports stronger business relationship, note via PAK, SL can achieve connectivity with Central Asia
  • SL-PAK signs five memoranda of understanding, cooperation in multiple areas, including tourism
  • Invite MR to visit PAK

Prime Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Imran Khan at the signing of the MoU at Temple Trees yesterday – Photo by Ruwan Walpola

Sri Lanka (SL) and Pakistan (PAK) have agreed to work jointly on negotiating debt relief, PAK Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday, calling on international organizations to help poor countries to meet the economic challenges made worse by the pandemic.

Khan, who arrived in SL last afternoon for a two-day visit, was greeted by his SL counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa. The two prime ministers held bilateral talks at Temple Trees and issued a joint statement to the media after their meeting. Khan also invited Rajapaksa to visit PAK.

“We discussed how developed countries can help the developing world. The developed world must not be an island, it must realize that this is a problem that has affected everyone, but in particular, it has affected poor countries more and the poor in poor countries much more. So we discussed how we can work together so that poor countries get debt relief, ”Khan told reporters.

He pointed out that although PAK offered the largest stimulus package in its history of $ 8 billion, it was tiny compared to the US plan of almost $ 3 trillion.

“So that’s the gap. The coronavirus has exposed this huge disparity in the world and that’s why I think global organizations like the UN should step in and deal with countries that have been really beaten because of COVID-19. ”

Pointing out that SL and PAK were part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Khan encouraged stronger trade between the two countries, as this would give SL connectivity to Central Asia through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ).

“This visit aims to strengthen our bilateral relations; it is to strengthen our commercial ties. Pakistan is part of the BRI of China and that means connectivity so I have asked my delegation here to find ways to improve trade and connectivity, and through CPEC, connectivity to Asia. Central for Sri Lanka. Our trade ties also mean that our countries will come closer. “

SL and PAK also signed five memoranda of understanding yesterday. The memoranda of understanding were aimed at improving bilateral economic and social cooperation.

“Mr. Prime Minister, you are no stranger to the people of Sri Lanka. There are millions in this country who have admired you, your leadership on the cricket pitch as captain of the Pakistan national team. Your country continues to be a valuable bilateral partner and Sri Lanka regards Pakistan as a close and genuine friend. Our people hold Pakistan in the highest regard. Pakistan is a country that has supported Sri Lanka in times of great need, ”Rajapaksa said during the joint statement.

“During our bilateral discussions, Prime Minister Khan and I agreed to work closely together to strengthen our bilateral cooperation in the economic sector and several other areas, including trade, investment, science and technology , defense and education.

“We also agreed to seek opportunities under the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Our talks also covered important regional and international issues as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also agreed to continue our engagement in the tourism and aviation sectors. Sri Lanka is grateful to Pakistan for opening travel lanes to visit ancient Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan, ”he added.


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VA Debt Management Center to resume sending notification letters in January 2021

The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) is sending a letter to veterans with benefit debts this month, advising them that due process notification letters will resume after January 1, 2021.

The November letter reads as follows:

Dear veteran / beneficiary,

We hope this letter finds you well. You are receiving this letter because you may have unpaid VA benefit debts, and we want you to be aware of the actions VA will take after January 1, 2021 and your options.

To alleviate financial hardship during the pandemic, the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) has suspended issuance of debt notification letters and suspended collection actions on debts established after April 3, 2020 until January 1, 2021. DMC has also offered suspensions or extended repayment plans for the debts. established before April 3, 2020.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2021

If your debt was established after April 3, 2020, DMC will issue your debt notification letter (s) from January 2021. If you have a debt established before April 3, When collections have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your suspension will end on January 1, 2021 and the DMC will resume withholding from your VA benefits to pay the debt upon your benefit payment on February 1, 2021. If you do not receive VA benefits, your payment will be due to DMC by February 1, 2021.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

If you anticipate payment difficulties, you don’t have to wait until after January 1, 2021 to seek help. Please see the information found on our website: https://www.va.gov/debtman; or contact the DMC for assistance with https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ or call us at 1-800-827-0648.

We can work with you to determine your debt relief options, which may include:

  • Establish a repayment plan.
  • Request a waiver.
  • Debt challenge.
  • Submit an offer in compromise.
  • Request a temporary suspension of tests.

WHO TO CONTACT

  • For any questions about your VA benefit debt, including information on how to enter into voluntary repayment agreements or request a waiver, dispute, or offer in compromise, submit your request online at https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ or call 1-800-827-0648 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
  • If you have a question about your VA benefits or the status of a claim, please call:
    • Educational Benefits – VA Education Contact Center at 1-888-442-4551.
    • Other VA Benefits – VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000.
  • For any questions about your VA health care debt, call the Health Resource Center at 1-866-400-1238.
  • If your debt has been submitted to the US Treasury Department, the debt will remain under their jurisdiction. The treasury can be reached at the following address:
    • Cross Service Program at 1-888-826-3127.
    • Treasury Compensation Program at 1-800-304-3107.

We are here to support you during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow national and local guidelines to stay healthy and safe.


The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) provides veterans and recipients with compassionate advice on their VA benefit debts. DMC manages the debt collection process and provides assistance with debt resolution options, such as payment plans and waivers.


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Somalia Debt Relief, Government Efforts to Combat COVID-19, and Further Boko Haram Attacks

Debt relief in Somalia and other African countries

On Wednesday, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly announced that Somalia is now eligible for debt relief as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The success of the HIPC program reduce Somalia’s external debt from the current $ 5.2 billion to $ 557 million in about three years. Somalia will also be eligible to receive new international financing for the first time in 30 years, including access to IMF emergency aid grants to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday the European Union announced $ 47 million grant to help Somalia clear its debt arrears. A number of Somalia’s bilateral creditors will also meet on March 31 to discuss debt relief, Somali Finance Minister Abdirahman Duale Beileh hoping 75 to 80% debt relief and a multi-year repayment program. Find out more about debt relief and economic adjustments in conflict-affected states, see the October 2019 event where the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative hosted Minister Beileh to discuss his country’s efforts for debt relief.

In related news, the IMF and World Bank jointly called on bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments of 76 poorest countries in the world to enable them to channel additional resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in coordination with other African leaders, called on the G-20 to provide $ 150 billion for the continent’s response to the coronavirus. Abiy’s proposal calls for additional funding for African health systems, partial debt relief and support for struggling businesses, among others.

African governments respond to the spread of COVID-19

Like the rest of the world, Africa continues to face the devastating effects of the spread of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at the time of this writing, the disease is confirmed in 39 countries in the WHO Africa region with over 2,500 cases.

In response, governments have adopted a wide variety of strategies to contain the disease and mitigate its impact on their economies. South Africa, where the the highest number of cases have been confirmed (over 1,100 to date), implemented a 21 days of national confinement from midnight on March 26. In particular, the WHO has adopted a WhatsApp platform by the South African nonprofit Praekelt.org to provide free automated responses with symptom information, travel tips and number updates to its users. The platform had already in use by the country’s health department.

Sunday March 22, Maurice forbids all entry—Including that of foreigners and Mauritian nationals and citizens — in the country for 14 days. That same day, Tunisia announced a 14-day lockdown period, with the exception of persons carrying out certain essential activities. The next day, Uganda has banned all inbound flights. Later in the week it prohibits all public transport. Monday also, Ethiopia closes land borders. Nigeria banned all interstate travel.

From Friday March 27, Kenya implemented a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sudan announced similar curfews. Also in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto announced a 80 percent voluntary pay cut. Kenyatta’s ministers also take cuts between 20 and 30 percent; Kenya’s parliament will also take 30 percent over the next three months. The The Kenyan government has also offered tax relief for the general population: 100% for those earning less than $ 240 per month, and an income tax cut of 5% for everyone else. Interestingly, an aversion to fish imports from China caused the The booming Kenyan fishing sub-sector.

In the positive news, Senegal announced that researchers at its Institut Pasteur have started validation trials on a $ 1, home COVID-19 diagnostic test which can produce results in as little as 10 minutes. In Cameroon, one of the rebel groups, the Southern Cameroons Defense Forces (Socadef), has temporarily called for a ceasefire in its efforts to break away from largely French-speaking Cameroon and create an English-speaking state, although others groups continue to fight.

On Thursday, the African Development Bank also sold $ 3 billion in three years “Fighting COVID-19 Social Obligations”. In the meantime, the African Import-Export Bank announced the creation of a $ 3 billion credit facility to help African countries fight the effects of the pandemic.

You can find more Brookings comments on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Nigeria and Chad affected by terrorist attacks by Boko Haram

Two attacks from jihadist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the province of West Africa (ISWAP) – a Boko Haram splinter group – killed more than 140 soldiers this week in Chad and Nigeria. In Chad, 92 soldiers were killed by Boko Haram on Sunday March 22 in the Boma peninsula near Lake Chad. The attack was the Boko Haram’s deadliest attack on the Chadian military forces. In Nigeria, 50 soldiers were killed by ISWAP in an ambush in eastern Borno state on March 23. The attack occurred after an attempted offensive against ISWAP by the Nigerian military which started this weekend.

Boko Haram was active in northeast Nigeria since 2009, and over the past decade, with ISWAP, has also spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. According to the United Nations, approximately 36,000 people were killed and nearly 2 million displaced in northeastern Nigeria since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite regional efforts to defeat jihadist groups, the attacks have multiplied in recent months.


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Montgomery Churches and Synagogue Participate in National Debt Relief Charity

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WSFA) – That’s a mind-boggling number. About 45 percent of all bankruptcies in Montgomery County alone are related to massive medical debts.

But two Montgomery churches and a synagogue are doing their part to help ease the burden on those struggling with debt.

Kreg Sherbine is a member of the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in East Montgomery, a church related to RIP Medical Debt Charity based in New York State.

“We are called to take care of those in need,” Sherbine said.

And those in need in Montgomery County include about 1,200 people whose medical debts have been significantly reduced or written off entirely. They represented a combined total of $ 1.2 million in medical debt.

“In a lot of cases, people hit their deductible but couldn’t pay the rest,” Sherbine said. “You also have those who are uninsured.”

It all started 10 years ago with RIP Medical Debt Charity. Two men linked to the debt collection industry apparently changed their minds and took a different path.

“Their goal is to buy as much medical debt as possible and forgive those least likely to pay it,” Sherbine said.

A decade later, RIP Medical paid off $ 1 billion in medical debt in the country; $ 3 million statewide, every part of which comes from donations.

“They buy the debt from collection agencies and forgive it,” Sherbine said, adding that he knows the stories of relief followed by joy.

Sherbine remembered a story told to her by someone who had their debts canceled. The person was upset and said they had to read it twice to believe it.

A reduced or forgiven hospital bill is good medicine for heart and soul.

If you would like to donate or learn more about how RIP Medical Debt Charity works, log on to ripmedicaldebt.org

Sherbine says the other Montgomery church involved is the Community Congregational United Church of Christ on South Court Street. And there is also the Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem Synagogue on Cloverdale Road.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.


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The Holy See at the UN calls for debt relief for poor countries

Bishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, underlines the importance of developing economic and financial policies that truly serve the common good of all.

By the editor of Vatican News

“Every decision and policy on economic or financial matters has an impact on the lives of individuals, families and the well-being of society as a whole.” With this premise, the Holy See encourages debt restructuring, and ultimately debt cancellation of the most vulnerable countries, to cope with the growing economic imbalances and other crises they face as a result of the pandemic. of Covid-19.

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Mgr Gabriele Caccia, launched this appeal on Thursday during the 75e Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said in a statement that due to the demands placed on the poorest countries by the debt service and the economic impact of the pandemic, many of them are forced to “divert scarce national resources from basic programs. education, health and infrastructure towards debt payment. . “

Archbishop Caccia reminded the UN, specifically addressing the Commission on Macroeconomic Policy, that his work should reflect on “ethical implications for achieving economic prosperity for all in order to enable every person to prosper and countries to live in peace and stability “. As such, decisions and policies on economic or financial matters which have an impact on the lives of individuals, families and the well-being of society as a whole “must be viewed in a much broader perspective than the only immediate financial gain or success ”.

Covid-19 and the economy

Bishop Caccia stressed that financial inclusion and sustainable development have been affected by the Covid-19 health crisis due to its devastating impact on employment, production and international and national trade. No one, he notes – from states to families and individuals – has escaped the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

However, some felt the impact more than others. Developing countries, he said, are being hit by “a triple economic shock of collapsing export demand, falling commodity prices and unprecedented capital flight”, in addition to managing the pandemic with often inadequate health systems.

Recover together

To face these difficulties, Bishop Caccia proposes to work together to ensure that the economic “recovery packages” and “regeneration packages” serve the common good. In particular, it highlights two areas that require special attention in turnaround efforts.

The first, according to the Archbishop, are micro, small and medium enterprises. He points out that to revive the economy, funding would have to reach a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises that “are the backbone of economies” in developed and developing countries.

The second sector concerns workers in “informal” employment. He explained that we have a “special responsibility” to those people – men and women – who are made redundant in fields like construction, catering, hospitality, domestic services and retail, among others, and in as such, find it difficult to provide for themselves and their families. Many of them, he notes, turn to charities and religious institutions for help. Others, especially migrants and those without proper documentation, cannot apply for benefits.

Debt restructuring / cancellation

Bishop Caccia said that there is ample evidence that developing countries, faced with the obligation to divert scarce resources towards debt repayment, risk undermining “integrated development, weakening health systems and education, as well as reducing the capacity of states to create the conditions for the realization of basic human rights.

The Archbishop therefore urged the international community to address the economic imbalances between nations by restructuring and ultimately debt “in recognition of the severe impacts of medical, social and economic crises” facing the most vulnerable countries due to of the current crisis. pandemic.

He also called on the international community to fight illicit financial flows (IFFs) which, by diverting resources from public spending and reducing the capital available for private investment, “deprive countries of the resources they desperately need to provide. public services, finance poverty reduction programs. and improve infrastructure.

In conclusion, Bishop Caccia encouraged the UN to “find ways to highlight the broader and ethical implications of economic activity in the years to come” and stressed the need to transform the economy for it to be ” truly at the service of the human person “.

Pope Francis

The Pope has repeatedly stressed the need for a new economic model, especially as countries restart after the Covid-19 pandemic. He has often said that “the only way out of the current crisis is together”.

During his Urbi and orbi for Easter, he specifically addressed the topic of debt relief. “In light of the current circumstances,” Pope Francis said, “that international sanctions be relaxed, as they prevent the countries on which they have been imposed from providing adequate support to their citizens, and that all nations be brought into line. position to meet the greatest needs of the moment by reducing, if not canceling, the debt weighing on the balance sheets of the poorest nations. “

In his last encyclical Fratelli tutti, he spoke about debt relief in the context of the fundamental right of peoples to survive and grow. This right, he said, is sometimes “severely restricted by the pressure created by the external debt”. This debt stifles and severely limits development, he continued. “While respecting the principle that any legitimately acquired debt must be repaid, the way in which many poor countries fulfill this obligation must not end up jeopardizing their very existence and their growth.”


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A good start to debt relief but incomplete by Paola Subacchi

After initially responding to the pandemic-induced economic crisis with an initiative to postpone paying developing country debt, the G20 has now returned to the table to come up with a more plausible solution. But the new common framework for sovereign debt restructuring should only be the first step in a longer process.

LONDON – A global collapse in economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the risk of debt distress in many countries, pushing the poorest to the brink. In response, various international organizations have unveiled a number of initiatives to prevent circumstances requiring between an adequate response to the public health crisis and the servicing of existing debts.

More specifically, the G20 has established a Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which allows the world’s poorest countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments until next year. And this month, the leaders of the G20 adopted a new common framework to meet the needs of sovereign debt restructuring on a case-by-case basis.

For poorer countries struggling with the pandemic, debt not only limits their fiscal space to respond to the crisis, but also hinders future development. Faced with the sudden costs of the COVID-19 crisis, many countries that are already struggling to service existing debt have needed new financing, only to find it too difficult or too expensive to borrow more . And even if they do, the additional debt burden will weigh on them for years, limiting their prospects for growth and development.

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The IMF Executive Board approves a disbursement of $ 43.4 million to Djibouti under the rapid credit facility and debt relief under the Containment and Development Trust Fund. disaster relief to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

IMF Executive Board approves US $ 43.4 million disbursement to Djibouti under the Rapid Credit Facility and Debt Relief under the Containment Trust Fund and disaster relief to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

May 8, 2020

  • The IMF Executive Board approved a $ 43.4 million loan to Djibouti to support the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as debt relief under the CCRT, which will generate additional resources of $ 2.3 million over the next five months. , and potentially up to US $ 8.2 million over the next 23 months.
  • IMF support will provide additional resources for essential health and other emergency spending, including social safety nets. It will also help catalyze additional donor support.
  • The authorities are committed to using the additional IMF resources in a transparent manner and to ensuring that spending is well targeted and cost effective.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a rapid credit facility (RCF) disbursement equivalent to SDR 31.8 million (approximately $ 43.4 million, 100% of Djibouti’s quota) to help Djibouti cope with the urgent balance of payments. needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also approved grants under the IMF Containment and Disaster Relief Trust Fund (CCRT) to cover Djibouti’s debt service due to the IMF today as of October 13, 2020, i.e. ‘equivalent of SDR 1.692 million or $ 2.3 million. Additional relief covering the period from October 14, 2020 to April 13, 2022 will be granted subject to the availability of CCRT resources, potentially bringing the total debt service relief to the equivalent of SDR 6.03 million; approximately $ 8.2 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly weakened Djibouti’s short-term macroeconomic outlook. The country is facing a significant negative external demand shock due to the global recession. Nationally, virus prevention and containment measures further affect demand and supply. Production is expected to contract by 1% in 2020 and the decline in services exports and foreign direct investment has created an urgent need for balance of payments financing in the order of 164 million dollars. The pandemic has also created urgent spending needs, including in the health sector, and is expected to negatively affect government revenues.

Following the discussion by the Board of Directors. Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Director General and Acting President, made the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on Djibouti, creating an urgent balance of payments and budgetary financing needs. Authorities acted quickly to contain and mitigate the spread and impact of the virus. Their prevention and containment measures and their decisions to increase health and other emergency spending to protect households and businesses affected by the crisis will help limit the economic and social consequences.

“The crisis and the political response will lead to a widening of the budget deficit this year. IMF emergency financing under the Rapid Credit Facility and debt service relief under the Containment and Disaster Relief Trust Fund will provide much-needed liquidity to support the authorities’ response to the crisis. crisis and could catalyze further assistance from the international community, preferably in the form of grants. The authorities are committed to using the additional resources in a transparent manner and to ensuring that spending is well targeted and cost effective.

“Once the crisis subsides, temporary measures should be lifted, with policies refocusing on promoting a strong and inclusive recovery and maintaining medium-term debt sustainability. Addressing and preventing the recurrence of external arrears, speeding up key project operations and reducing public sector borrowing will be essential. Reducing tax expenditures will also be important in creating space for poverty reduction spending. Efforts to strengthen bank balance sheets, improve the business environment, and improve governance and the efficiency of state-owned enterprises will be key to fostering strong and inclusive growth.

More information:

IMF Lending Tracker (request for emergency financing approved by the IMF Executive Board)

https://www.imf.org/en/Topics/imf-and-covid19/COVID-Lending-Tracker

IMF Executive Board Calendar

https://www.imf.org/external/NP/SEC/bc/eng/index.aspx

IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Wafa Amr

Telephone: +1 202 623-7100E-mail: [email protected]

@ IMFSpeaker



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