IMF approves additional 1-yr extension for Ghana, other borrowers

Ghana and other borrowing countries will enjoy one more year of extension in repaying funds borrowed from the International Monetary Fund to support their economies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghana is seeking to borrow some millions of dollars from the IMF to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In a release today, the IMF Executive Board approved a framework for a new round of bilateral borrowing by the Fund from January 1, 2021, to succeed the current bilateral borrowing agreements (BBAs) currently in place through end-December 2020.

The framework is broadly the same as that agreed in 2016 for the current BBAs.

But the new BBAs will have an initial term of three years through end-2023, which is extendable by one more year through end-2024.

These new agreements will help maintain the IMF’s lending capacity of US$1 trillion for the next few years, ensuring its ability to respond to members’ needs.

The BBAs are the IMF’s third line of defence after quotas and the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB).

“Today’s Executive Board decision is part of a broader package on IMF resources and governance reform endorsed by the IMF membership during the 2019 Annual Meetings, and builds on the Boards’s January 2020 approval of a doubling of the NAB and guidance on quota reforms”, a statement from the IMF said.

The new BBAs and the doubling of the NAB are expected to take effect on January 1, 2021, subject to timely approvals by creditor member countries and their institutions.

The Fund said these are critical steps to ensure that the it can support its membership through the global pandemic now unfolding and beyond.