G7 suggest boosting IMF reserves to help vulnerable nations

LONDON — The Group of Seven leading industrial nations on Friday proposed bolstering the International Monetary Fund’s reserves for the first time since 2009, so the Washington D.C.-based institution can provide more financial support to developing nations during the coronavirus crisis.

At a virtual discussion hosted by Britain’s Treasury chief, Rishi Sunak, the seven finance ministers backed a “new and sizeable” increase in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, a type of reserve that effectively supplements existing reserves of member countries.

No financial details were disclosed and any increase will have to be signed off by other countries at the IMF’s spring meeting in April.

So-called SDRs, which were last issued in 2009 as part of the international response to the global financial crisis, could free up resources for developing nations to pay for coronavirus vaccines and food imports, as well as providing them with further financial buffers.

“Today’s milestone agreement among the G-7 paves the way for crucial and concerted action to support the world’s low-income countries, ensuring that no country is left behind in the global economic recovery from coronavirus,” said Sunak, who chaired the meeting as part of Britain’s presidency of the G-7 this year.