IMF sets up $100m public health trust for Ebola-hit nations

6 Feb 15
The International Monetary Fund has approved a $100m catastrophe containment instrument for West African countries hit by Ebola and other poor countries facing a public health crisis.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 6 February 2015

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $100m catastrophe containment instrument for West African countries hit by Ebola and other poor countries facing a public health crisis.

The Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) Trust, will provide grant aid that will be used for relief on debt service payments for two years.

It is expected that the CCR Trust would provide grants for debt relief of close to $100m for the three countries affected by Ebola in West Africa – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. All country requests are subject to approval by the IMF board.

The funds would come in addition to the $130m of assistance provided last September to Ebola-hit countries and a second round of new concessional loans worth around $160m will be considered soon by the IMF executive board.

Funds will be disbursed immediately once approved, the IMF said.

The CCR Trust expands upon the Post Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust that was set up to assist countries hit by natural disasters like earthquakes, the IMF said.

‘The purpose of this effort is to support low-income countries facing a public health crisis in order to help prevent potentially devastating international spillovers,’ IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said.

‘This initiative is a clear indication of the flexibility, innovation and commitment of the IMF to the health systems and human needs of some of our most vulnerable member countries.’

The IMF is also urging official bilateral creditors to provide debt relief to the three Ebola-affected countries.

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