Singapore aims to contribute $27.7m to help low-income countries hit by Covid-19

The contribution will be done through the International Monetary Fund - subject to Parliament's approval. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Singapore aims to contribute US$20.57 million (S$27.69 million) towards international efforts to help low-income countries deal with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will be done through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - subject to Parliament's approval on April 5 - the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Wednesday (March 31).

Singapore is looking to support three initiatives.

These are the IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, the Covid-19 Crisis Capacity Development Initiative and the Trust for Special Poverty Reduction and Growth Operations for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries.

MAS said: "Singapore has a strong interest in supporting the global economic recovery from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside other member countries' contributions, Singapore's grant contributions in response to the IMF's request also demonstrates our support for collective global action to help the most vulnerable countries."

The Republic's contributions to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust and the Covid-19 Crisis Capacity Development Initiative will stand at US$17.6 million and US$2 million respectively, and will come from MAS' Official Foreign Reserves.

MAS said the amounts that Singapore aims to contribute are commensurate with the Republic's IMF quota share - a metric which determines the maximum amount of financial resources a member is obliged to provide, reflecting the country's relative position in the world economy.

Singapore is also expected to provide a US$970,000 grant to the Trust for Special Poverty Reduction and Growth Operations for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, supporting the IMF's US$344 million financial relief package for Somalia's debt.

"The IMF has assessed that Somalia's external debt is unsustainable and it requires urgent assistance to clear its prolonged arrears," said MAS.

Singapore's grant to this fund will come from its existing resources from other IMF accounts, and will not draw from the Official Foreign Reserves.

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