For Immediate Release
IMF/WorldBank Annual Meetings Begin Amid Sluggish Growth Projections
Fund Extends Zero Interest Loans for Poor Countries
WASHINGTON - Finance Ministers, heads of central banks and government delegations open the Annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings through October 9th. As the meetings start, the IMF reports a sluggish economic growth forecast and a slow recovery from the global financial crisis of 2008.
"These meetings are an opportunity for us to come to a consensus on preventive measures for financial crisis," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA who is participating in events during the meetings. "Unfortunately, even with concerning IMF global economic reports, I fear we are not ready to improve financial regulations."
Earlier this week, the IMF announced it will continue to lend at zero-interest to some low-income countries for at least two more years. The "Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust," an IMF project, offers loans at concessional rates to low-income countries. IMF Managing Director Christine LaGarde noted that many low-income countries face increased danger because of current global economic challenges. According to IMF data, 55 of 70 low-income countries are in "debt distress" or at risk of debt distress.
"We applaud the decision of the IMF," stated LeCompte, who serves on United Nation expert finance groups. "Our hope is that the IMF will make this this zero percent lending permanent."
Read more about the IMF's projection for global growth
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 80 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor, and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.