For Oral Answer on : 22/06/2023
Question Number(s): 108 Question Reference(s): 28857/23
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Finance to outline his current engagement with the International Monetary Fund, in particular on the subject of its commitment to aid in developing countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) promotes international monetary cooperation and provides policy advice, technical assistance and loans to help countries build and maintain strong economies. It also provides loans and helps countries design policy programmes. Ireland is one of a near-global membership of 190 countries and we continue to work proactively with the IMF in order to support them achieve their goals.
Ireland is permanently represented at the IMF in Washington where we engage extensively with the IMF on their work, including that of providing appropriate aid to developing countries. The provision of aid to developing countries is also a core focus of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank which the IMF works closely with across the developing world.
In April of this year I attended the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington during which I participated in a wide range of meetings. This provided a valuable opportunity to engage on an international basis, and allowed Irish representatives and senior management in both the IMF and World Bank to consider many of the complex challenges currently facing the world economy such as high inflation, rising debt levels and global fragmentation.
At the Spring Meetings, I was delighted to announce a €24 million contribution to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). The PRGT fund allows the IMF to make zero interest loans for PRGT-eligible African, Caribbean and Pacific countries facing balance of payments difficulties. It is important that Ireland continues to play its part in terms of helping vulnerable countries access affordable finance, which is key to assist in their response to economic and food crisis situation worsened by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
In October this year, the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank will take place in Africa (Morocco), further highlighting the overarching commitment to provide aid to developing areas. This will again provide an important opportunity for Ireland to engage with the IMF on their support for developing countries.