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The IMF’s framework for concessional financing is regularly reviewed to take account of changing needs. In 2015, the financial safety net for low-income developing countries was enhanced as part of the international community’s wider effort to support countries in pursuing the post-2015 UN SDGs. Key changes included; (1) a 50 per cent increase in PRGT access norms and limits; (2) rebalancing the funding mix of concessional and non-concessional resources provided to countries that receive IMF support in the form of a blend of PRGT and GRA resources from a 1:1 ratio to a 1:2 ratio; and (3) setting the interest rate permanently at zero on fast disbursing support under the Rapid Credit Facility to assist countries in fragile situations, hit by conflict, or affected by natural disaster.
In October 2016the IMF Executive Board, decided to set interest rates on all concessional loans to zero until December 31, 2018. The interest-rate-setting mechanism was also modified such that interest rates will remain at zero if global interest rates are low. As noted above, a more comprehensive review of the lending facilities for low-income and other eligible countries is scheduled for 2018.
A new fundraising round to raise up to SDR 11 billion in new PRGT loan resources, which are needed to support continued concessional lending by the IMF for its poorest and most vulnerable members, is almost complete. Of the 28 potential lenders approached—including 14 new lenders—16 had confirmed participation, and 14 new loan contributions have been finalized, amounting to SDR 9.4 billion, with an additional SDR 2.35 billion committed.