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WASHINGTON-- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a fourth tranche of debt service relief for 24 eligible low-income countries to help them fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF said on Friday.
"The Executive Board also approved the inclusion of the Kyrgyz Republic and Lesotho among the beneficiary countries, enabling these members to receive relief of their debt service falling due to the Fund through January 10, 2022," the IMF said in a statement.
The approval of the fourth tranche, totaling approximately 124 million U.S. dollars, follows three prior tranches approved on April 13, 2020, Oct. 2, 2020, and April 1, 2021, according to the IMF.
"This debt service relief helps free up scarce financial resources for vital health, social, and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," the IMF said.
The debt relief was provided under the so-called Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), which allows the IMF to provide grants to the poorest and most vulnerable countries hit by catastrophic natural disasters or public health disasters.