Our updated tracker* captures 65 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, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic (this is up by 7 from our last update).
Since our last update on Friday 1 May, we identify 7 countries that have had emergency financing facilities approved, taking the total number of countries now to 48, and the total amount disbursed under these facilities to US$17.0bn. The latest approvals include Cameroon, Ecuador, Kenya and Tajikistan. We had already factored two of these seven approvals into our total tracker count (Ecuador and Kenya). In addition, we observe two new requests from Seychelles and Djibouti which are on the IMF board schedule on 8 May. We also note that Egypt's request is on the board schedule for 11 May (but we'd already factored its request into our total tracker count). Also this week, two countries had programme or lending facilities approved, although we knew they were coming and had also already factored them into our total tracker count (Georgia's sixth review of its EFF and Colombia's successor FCL).
The other main news over the last week has been Lebanon's request for an IMF programme. The authorities announced last Thursday that they had formally requested an IMF programme as part of the government’s economic recovery plan, although it's not clear if they are also seeking more immediate help under the RCF/RFI. However, we have not included Lebanon in our tracker as we think its crisis pre-dates the pandemic (doing so would take the total tracker count to 66).
Still, it is worth remembering that there have been no new IMF programmes approved yet. Out of all the countries that have had disbursements approved during this crisis period (we count 50), the vast majority (48) are emergency financings (RCF/RFI) and only two relate to modifications to existing programmes (Georgia and Togo). A further two countries – Honduras and Morocco – drew on resources already made available under their existing arrangements, Colombia has renewed its credit line (not a programme), and there are three board reviews pending following staff-level agreements on reviews under existing programmes. Excluding Ukraine and Ecuador (where new programmes will replace those that went off track), and Lebanon, the only new programme request we are aware of is Egypt.
IMF MD 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.