Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, December 6, 2022

World

IMF board approves new food shock financing window to ease war shortages

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Friday its executive board has approved a new food shock borrowing window under its existing emergency financing instruments to help vulnerable countries cope with food shortages and high costs stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The IMF said the Food Shock Window will be open for one year through is Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument programs for countries with urgent balance of payment needs that “are suffering from acute food insecurity, a sharp food imports shock, or from a cereals export shock.”

The IMF’s announcement did not mention any specific countries that would be eligible for low-condition emergency loans under the new window.

IMF European Department director Alfred Kammer said last week that Ukraine could receive another $1.3 billion in emergency financing from the new food shock window after its approval. He said the Fund was discussing with Ukrainian authorities a new macroeconomic stabilization framework that would help the war torn country identify external financing needs.

Ukraine has said that it needs $5 billion a month in external financing to keep its economy functioning. The IMF provided $1.4 billion in emergency financing to Ukraine in March and has helped, along with the World Bank, to facilitate billions more in donor funding.

With new emergency food shock financing, the IMF aims to try to ease war-induced shortages that are fast becoming the worst food security crisis since at least the 2007-2008 global financial meltdown, leaving lives and livelihoods of 345 million people in immediate danger and a $9 billion increase in import bills for the most exposed countries.

“For some time now, the combination of climate shocks, the pandemic and regional conflicts has disrupted food production and distribution, driving up the cost of feeding people and families,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement. “Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed the price of food and fertilizers even higher — hurting food importers and some exporters.”

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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