Our updated tracker* captures 76 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 four since our last update). Note that our count of 76 includes three countries that now have two entries.
Since our last update on 20 May, the IMF board has approved two new emergency financing facilities (Jordan and St Vincent), taking the total number of countries now to 55 on our count, and the total amount disbursed under these facilities to US$21.3bn. Together with the approved programme reviews under their existing arrangements for four countries (Armenia, Benin, Georgia, and Togo), that takes the total number of countries for which emergency financing has been approved to 59.
There have been seven events since our last update on 20 May, although we record only four new ones in our tracker as we had anticipated three of them last time. According to the IMF board schedule, emergency financing requests for Bahamas, Bangladesh and Solomon Islands are due over the next week. The other new entry in our tracker is confirmation by the IMF that Belarus has requested emergency financing. We had already anticipated the two emergency financing facilities (Jordan and St Vincent). The IMF announced staff level agreement on a new SBA for Ukraine too, although we had already anticipated that as well.
We also note that following the recent staff level agreements for Honduras (second review of SBA/SCF) and Barbados (third review of EFF), both are now on the IMF board schedule in the coming week, 1 June and 3 June, respectively; however we had already anticipated these in our tracker.
Over half of the Fund's 189 members have requested emergency help since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 102 countries according to the IMF press briefing on 21 May. The IMF expects 29 requests to be considered soon. However, this ratio (54%) has remained unchanged over the last few weeks, so begs the question, has everyone who wants one asked for one already?
Conspicuous by their absence, so far, are Angola, Belize, Suriname and Zambia (either for not yet being approved or even knowing if the authorities have formally requested help). The recent IMF press briefing confirmed the Zambian authorities' request for emergency assistance, in addition to their earlier programme request. The IMF briefing noted that "any IMF financial support, including emergency financing, is contingent on steps to restore debt sustainability." The IMF press briefing also confirmed the South African request for emergency assistance.
*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.