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Amid COVID IMF Hands $16M to St Vincent and Grenadines While Inner City Press Asks of Disparities

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 20 – Before the International Monetary Fund's February 13 embargoed briefing, Inner City Press asked the IMF to confirm or deny something in the crypto-currency media, that "IMF ADVISES EASTERN CARIBBEAN STATES TO TRIAL DIGITAL CURRENCY." See below.

 Now on May 20 amid the Coronavirus crisis on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the IMF has announced, "The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a disbursement to St. Vincent and the Grenadines following its request under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) mechanism, for SDR 11.7 million (US$16 million), to help cover its balance of payment and fiscal needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disbursement is set at the maximum available access under the RCF instrument of 100 percent of quota. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a small state, vulnerable to external shocks, including large natural disasters. The pandemic has hit St. Vincent and the Grenadines hard. Tourism receipts have dried up, as tourism arrivals have come to a complete halt. The economy is now projected to contract by 5.5 percent —7.8 percentage points below pre-COVID-19 projections. A drop in fiscal revenues, combined with additional direct health and social expenditures, will increase the fiscal deficit and financing needs. IMF support will help cover some of these needs and allow the government to ease the impact on the population." Inner City Press has previously reported about Benin and the W.H.O., and will have more on this. This is more than to Afghanistan, for example.  On April 28 the UN disclosed a case of UN sexual abuse by its UNAMA in Afghanistan; Guterres and his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming refused that day and this to answer any Press questions about it. This as there is still no disclosure of the San Tome and other business of  Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres, the son of Antonio Guterres whose UN is now spreading COVID-19 in South Sudan with a UN bus with no social distancing.

   On April 15 to the IMF and World Bank's Annual Meetings Inner City Press posed these questions, after it got an IMF answer on Morocco, here: "On the IMF's CCRT debt service relief, please explain why Tanzania is not among the 19 African countries on the list. Also, please comment on public reports Kenya is not on because over-income, and the Zambia is off due to "corruption" issues. What about Cameroon's Paul Biya, not seen in public for weeks? Does the IMF have a view on how countries should address their prison systems as the Coronavirus spreads in them?"

  The Director of the IMF's Africa Department Abebe Aemro Selassie replied, diplomatically as ever, that thirty two countries have made requests, and that the IMF envisions $11.5 billion, with an initial focus on the poorest 25 or so, more if more money comes in, citing the UK and Japan and the IMF's speed on Madagascar. More to follow.

  The other issues were not addressed, nor have some of Inner City Press' other pending questions been answered. But we remain hopeful.

 For now, the IMF has said, "the countries that will receive debt service relief today are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen."

Inner City Press covers not only the IMF but also all things crypto in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for example SEC v. Telegram and the prosecution of Virgil Griffith formerly of Ethereum.   Inner City Press asked the IMF, "It is reported that to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the IMF suggests to experiment with a common digital currency, on a blockchain. Can you elaborate?"  

 While IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice during the briefing answered Inner City Press' Somalia and Egypt questions, it was afterward that this answer arrived by e-mail, "attributable to Gerry Rice, IMF Spokesman and Director of Communications:    

'The IMF did not suggest to experiment with a common digital currency. In March 2019, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) launched a central bank digital currency pilot project, using blockchain technology, on its own initiative.

  As noted in the IMF Concluding Statement of the 2019 discussion on the common policies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member countries, the digital currency could expose the ECCB and the financial system to various risks, including for financial intermediation, financial integrity, and cybersecurity. Given these risks of the digital currency, the IMF stressed that the ongoing pilot project should proceed cautiously.”   

So there. (A OneCoin / Bulgaria question remains outstanding). We appreciate the IMF's answer. Watch this site, for IMF news and... all things crypto, good, bad and ugly.


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