BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. April 14, 2022… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a new Resilience and Sustainability Fund (RST) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with a call for the channelization of the resources to poverty eradication programmes and projects.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor stated that the fund must target people in a swift reaction to the announcement of the launch of the RST by Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the initiative which will help address economic crisis unleashed on the global south by issues of Climate change and covid-19. We, however, caution that the fund must not be used to balloon debts of poor countries as most sub-Saharan countries, including Nigeria are currently reeling under the yoke of both internal and external debts,” Ugolor stated.
The new Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) announced by the IMF will come into effect on May 1, 2022. The Trust aims to help low-income and vulnerable middle-income countries address longer-term structural challenges that pose macroeconomic risks, including climate change and pandemics.
Rev David Ugolor further said: “We are well informed that the RST seeks to amplify the impact of the US$650 billion SDR allocation implemented August last year by channeling resources from economically stronger members to countries where the needs are greatest. This is commendable and the aspiration, by the IMF to build a Trust of at least US$45 billion in resources is also welcome but we are of the view that more resources should be pooled from stronger member countries into the trust because $45billion is like a drop in the ocean of what is required to address issues of resilience and sustainability in impoverished countries of the world.”
The ANEEJ helmsman then called for transparency and accountability mechanism to be put in place which should include Civil Society oversighting the administration of RST from the onset. “We insist on the need to strengthen public engagement and transparency to ensure proper utilization and the resources should target people, not just policy support.”
The RST, from its design by the IMF, will provide policy support and affordable longer maturity financing – with a 20-year maturity and a 10½ -year grace period – to help build resilience against long-term risks to balance of payments stability. About three-quarters of the IMF’s country membership will be eligible for RST financing, including low-income members as well as most middle-income countries and all small developing states.