Our updated tracker* captures 71 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 6 since our last update). We note that our count of 71 includes three countries that now have two entries.
Since our last update on Thursday 7 May, we identify 4 countries that have had emergency financing facilities approved, taking the total number of countries now to 51, and the total amount disbursed under these facilities to US$20bn. The latest approvals include Egypt and Seychelles, and a second emergency disbursement for Kyrgyz Republic (the first country to have had two separate requests approved). We had, however, already anticipated three of these approvals over the last week in our previous overall count (we knew they were coming from the board schedule). In addition, we observe four new requests pending from Jamaica, Jordan, St Vincent, and Uzbekistan on the board schedule in coming days.
Also this week, Peru and Chile have submitted requests for new precautionary credit lines (amounting to US$11bn and US$23.8bn, respectively) and Honduras reached staff-level agreement on the second review of its joint SBA/SCF, with augmented access.
Board reviews are scheduled in coming days for existing arrangements for Benin (sixth review of the ECF) and Armenia (second review of SBA), although we had already anticipated them in our overall count after their staff-level agreements were announced.
The IMF confirmed last week a change in the nature of programme discussions for Ukraine. The IMF said at its regular press briefing on 7 May that the programme discussions had switched from a three-year EFF (on which staff-level agreement was reached in December, pending completion of certain prior actions) to a new shorter 18-month SBA, with less structural conditionality. The size of the new SBA is around US$5bn, according to local reports. The switch in focus has been partly driven by the impact of coronavirus and an urgent financing need. IMF board approval of the new programme could come by the end of this month, at the soonest, after Ukraine's parliament passed the banking law earlier this week.
Over half of the Fund's 189 members have requested help since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (54%).
*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.