Chancellor asks IMF to bail out poor countries

Rishi Sunak set to press International Monetary Fund to ease debt burden on poorest countries hit by coronavirus

Rishi Sunak is set to press the International Monetary Fund to ease the debt burden on the poorest countries hit by the coronavirus. 

The Chancellor will this week use his widely praised performance in stabilising the British economy to take centre stage at the annual meeting of the IMF. 

The event – which usually attracts world leaders and top economists to Washington – begins tomorrow via video link and runs until next Sunday. 

Sharing experience: The Chancellor will use his widely praised performance in stabilising the British economy to take centre stage at the annual meeting of the IMF

The IMF is expected to reveal better forecasts for the UK and world economies than it published in April. 

However, the outlook will still be poor, sources said. 

Britain is understood to want the IMF to approve debt relief for the poorest countries hit by the crisis, and will be sharing experiences of its furlough scheme and other measures with fellow members of the group of 20 major economies. 

The UK – as one of the IMF’s biggest shareholders and birthplace of the organisation’s founding father, John Maynard Keynes – punches above its weight in the agency.

But it is understood that London accepts that any chance of issuing more of the IMF’s own currency to help the world’s poorest countries through the pandemic has been blocked by the Trump administration. 

The US will not allow the creation of any more ‘special drawing rights’ – a type of money that circulates only among IMF members. 

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