Yellen says she will press for IMF, World Bank resources at G20 summit

Sept 8 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday she will work at the G20 summit in India to build support to increase lending resources for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to help member countries deal with multiple global challenges, including new IMF quota resources.

Yellen said in prepared remarks at a news conference in New Delhi that she will seek to build G20 support for an “equi-proportional” increase in IMF quota funds paid-in by member countries, which would increase IMF lending resources, but not immediately change its shareholding structure.

On Thursday, Treasury Under Secretary Jay Shambaugh said in Washington that an IMF quota increase that keeps voting power unchanged would speed more resources to countries under financial stress, while IMF shareholders could take more time to work out a complicated new shareholding formula that gives greater weight to dynamic emerging market economies such as India, China and Brazil.

Yellen also said the United States has asked the U.S. Congress for permission to lend $21 billion to IMF trust funds, including one for the poorest countries, which “desperately needs more resources.”

Yellen highlighted progress on efforts over the past year by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to vastly expand lending resources and help tackle climate change, pandemics and other global crises.

Near-term balance sheet changes under consideration could unlock an additional $200 billion over the next decade, she said. More resources could come from medium-term steps recommended by a G20 capital adequacy review, including the use of callable capital that is pledged, but not paid-in, to back lending.

“Those are crucial additional resources for reducing poverty, advancing global health security and combating climate change,” Yellen said.

Yellen said she will bring up debt relief for poorer countries, a topic she highlights at every international meeting, particularly where the world’s largest bilateral lender, China, is present.

“We continue to support efforts to provide predictable, orderly and timely debt relief to countries, including under the (G20) Common Framework for Debt Treatment, where progress has been too slow,” Yellen added.

The U.S. Treasury chief also said she will work to strengthen international support for Ukraine at the G20 gathering, saying it was “critical that we continue to provide timely economic assistance” through such measures as the IMF’s $15.5 billion Ukraine loan program and the European Union’s proposed 50 billion-euro support package through 2027.

Due to the need to counteract food insecurity prompted by Russia’s withdrawal from a Black Sea grain deal, Yellen called for support for the G20’s Global Agriculture and Food Security program and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Reporting by David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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