IMF approves debt relief for 25 members; WHO cautions against rapid reversal of restrictions

IMF approves debt relief for 25 members; WHO cautions against rapid reversal of restrictions

The IMF has approved immediate debt relief to 25 member countries to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Executive Board's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust will provide the funding.

The grants will be given to the poorest and most vulnerable member states to cover their IMF debt obligations for six months.

The IMF said this will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Europe would face a second wave of Covid-19, which would "overwhelm" health systems if social controls were all lifted "all at once."

Maria Van Kerkhove from the World Health Organisation said Europe needs a coordinated approach and that if systems are not in place to provide proper contact tracing and adequate beds for patients are not produced then public health systems coud be overwhelmed.

Ms Van Kerkhove said Europe needed a coordinated response.

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