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IMF managing director announces operationalization of the RST to help vulnerable countries meet long-term challenges

By IMF Communications Department

WASHINGTON, USA – Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made the following statement Wednesday:

“I am delighted to announce that the new Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) has become operational. Today, I notified the executive board that with our fundraising to date, the RST is ready to start lending operations. We promised, and we delivered. For that, I am immensely grateful to our members for coming together and showing solidarity in times of unprecedented challenges.

In less than three years, the world has lived through shock, after shock, aftershock. First, the COVID pandemic. Then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing cost-of-living crisis. And there is no pause button on the climate crisis while we deal with these other crises.

As the IMF’s first ever facility to provide long-term affordable financing, the RST aims to support countries build resilience to structural challenges such as climate change and pandemics to help maintain longer-term economic and financial stability, while catalyzing other public and private financing.

With the strong support of our members, we have achieved the ambitious goal that was set by the IMFC and the G-20 to make the RST operational around the time of the 2022 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings. This means that the executive board can start approving members’ requests for Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) arrangements, and I look forward to the initial set of requests to be discussed at the executive board in the coming months.

The IMF’s executive board approved the establishment of the RST in April 2022 to serve as a third pillar of the IMF’s lending toolkit, in addition to the General Resources Account (GRA) and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), and provides financing with a 20-year maturity and a 10½‑year grace period. It will support eligible low and middle-income countries – comprising about three-quarters of the IMF’s membership. The RST will amplify the impact of the US$650 billion SDR allocation implemented last year by channeling resources from economically stronger members to countries where the needs are greatest.

My immense gratitude goes to Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and Spain for providing the first round of resource contributions amounting to a total of SDR 15.3 billion (US$ 20 billion).

This first round of RST resources represents just over half of the total of current RST pledges of SDR 29 billion (US$ 37 billion) from 13 countries. Further contributions are expected to become effective in early 2023 once countries have completed their domestic procedures, ensuring the RST is in a strong position to meet demand for RSF arrangements in the coming years. Additional countries are expected to pledge over time, and we will continue our fundraising efforts to broaden the pool of contributors and ensure that the RST has sufficient resources.

On the demand side, I am encouraged to see the strong interest from countries to access financing from the RST. We are already in advanced discussions with a diverse group of countries in their climate policy actions. The IMF is building experience with this new instrument through this initial phase, and lessons from these cases will benefit the broader group of eligible countries in the future.

We are also preparing the ground for RST lending to support policies for pandemic preparedness, through good cooperation with other international institutions.”

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