July 9, 2021

Washington, DC – Today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a press release noting that the IMF Executive Board supported the “general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).” The new allocation of $650 billion is three-times more than what was approved during the 2008 crises and is the largest amount to date. The IMF’s Board of Governors still needs to approve the new allocation. While many are enthusiastic about issuance of these needed financial resources to nations who are struggling due to the pandemic, the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) urges the IMF to insist that strong accountability and transparency measures be put in place to ensure that these monies will go where intended and will not be squandered away.

Rev. Nelson Adjei-Bediako, SMA, Executive Director of AFJN, who has advocated for the passage of the SDRs made the following remarks ahead of the release of these funds:

  • “Stories of embezzlement of COVID-19 response funds have been documented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya (two examples where corruption has been identified and legal action is imminent.) The IMF must ensure that SDRs do not end up in the private accounts of privileged individuals.
  • “AFJN’s advocacy within the United States (U.S.) emphasized the importance that any issuance of SDRs must include strong measures to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • “AFJN calls on the IMF Board of Governors to protect SDRs from ending up in the accounts of kleptocrats. The IMF must ensure that fund recipients make public their usage and encourage the IMF to reflect on the April 1st recommendation of the U.S. Treasury Department to ‘publish an ex-ante guidance note on how countries could use and account for SDRs consistent with macroeconomic and debt sustainability and good governance’ and their recommendation of a review after 2 years.
  • “It is important to remind the world that most African members of the IMF have the financial resources to keep their countries healthy, prosperous and capable of responding to most of its needs and we call on them to set the example by rooting out corruption and corrupt practices so that they can be ready to efficiently respond to future crisis the way other countries have done.”

Read the IMF Press Release here.

Read the United States Department of the Treasury April 1, 2021 “FACT SHEET: How An Allocation of International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights Will Support Low-Income Countries, the Global Economy, and the United States