U.S. Treasury Chief Urges IMF, World Bank to be Prudent Fighting Pandemic

by Andrea Shalal, David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work judiciously within their existing resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic and urged G20 countries to endorse a proposed debt restructuring framework.

In a statement to the two institutions’ steering committees, Mnuchin said they needed to continue to provide financing, advice and capacity development to aid countries hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as they disburse billions of dollars in emergency funds, they need to plan for transitions to normal financing arrangements, he added.

“It is critical that the World Bank manage financial resources judiciously and transparently, with clear justifications for allocations to countries with robust access to other financing sources, so as not to burden shareholders with premature calls for new financing,” Mnuchin said.

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