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IMF emergency financing tracker: Nigeria receives biggest disbursement yet

  • This week saw the biggest disbursement so far (Nigeria) and the first new Covid-19-related programme request (Egypt)

  • Over half of the Fund's members have sought emergency help, with 41 requests approved so far

  • Total amount disbursed under emergency facilities is US$14.4bn

IMF emergency financing tracker: Nigeria receives biggest disbursement yet
Stuart Culverhouse
Stuart Culverhouse

Chief Economist & Head of Fixed Income Research

Tellimer Research
1 May 2020
Published byTellimer Research

Our updated tracker* captures 58 countries that we know of so far that have either sought, or are seeking, emergency help from the IMF or have made drawings under their existing arrangements, or are seeking new ones (this is up by 12 from our last update). 

Since our last update on Friday 24 April, we identify 11 countries that have had emergency financing facilities approved, taking the total number of countries now to 41, and the total amount disbursed under these facilities to US$14.4bn. The latest approvals include Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Nigeria. In addition, two more countries have requested IMF emergency assistance (Egypt and Sri Lanka) and Barbados reached staff-level agreement on the third review of its existing EFF arrangement, which would also provide US$90mn in additional financing.

The IMF Board approved US$3.4bn (100% of quota) in emergency support for Nigeria on 28 April under the RFI. This is the single biggest disbursement under the IMF's emergency facilities (RFI/RCF) so far. The support comes amid both the pandemic and recently lower global oil prices, which has created an urgent BoP need. 

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement released on Sunday that Egypt had requested financial support under the RFI and at the same time the country is also seeking a new SBA. There was no indication in the IMF’s statement on the amount of IMF emergency financing being sought or the programme size. Under the RFI, the limit of 100% of quota amounts to US$2.8bn. Egypt already owes the IMF US$11.7bn under its previous programme, an EFF that expired in July 2019, as it drew the full amount available. To our knowledge, Egypt is the first new specific publicly-stated Covid-19-related programme request, as all other programme drawings so far (or staff-level agreements on them) have come under existing arrangements (albeit some with modifications) – and excluding programme requests or discussions in Argentina, Lebanon, and Ukraine, which precede the pandemic, and excluding Ecuador which is looking to replace a programme that went off track. 

Georgieva said on 15 April in her opening remarks to the IMF/WB Spring Meetings that 102 countries had requested emergency financing from the Fund so far and that the Board will have approved half of these requests by the end of that month. With demand running at 102 countries, that's over half (54%) of the Fund's 189 members.

*Our updated tracker seeks to identify countries that have requested IMF financial support, under its different guises, in order to help them deal with the impact of Covid-19. We do not claim it is exhaustive, but hope it provides a useful guide to investors on the current state of play. It is based on information that has been reported by the IMF itself, various media or national governments. We aim to produce regular updates.